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MENAFN Press - 30/04/2012

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(MENAFN Press) Net Profit Attributable to Qtel Shareholders of QAR 711 Million


Doha, Qatar, 29 April 2012: Qatar Telecom (Qtel) Q.S.C. ("Qtel" or "Qtel Group" or "Group") (Ticker: QTEL.QA) today announced financial results for the three months ended 31 March 2012, demonstrating financial and operational momentum across the Group's international footprint.

Financial Highlights:

Quarterly Analysis
Q1 2012Q1 2011% change
Consolidated Revenue (QARm)8,030.27,460.97.6%
EBITDA (QAR m)3,831.73,549.58.0%
EBITDA margin (%)48%48%-
Net Profit Attributable to Qtel Shareholders (QAR m)711.4810.8-12.2%
Consolidated Customers (m)84.475.611.7%

Earnings per share in Q1 2012 stood at QAR 3.11 (Q1 2011: QAR 3.54). Earnings per share have been adjusted as a result of the issuance of 20 percent bonus shares in Q1 2011 and 30 percent bonus shares in Q1 2012.

Operational Highlights:

Revenue and EBITDA growth of approximately 8 percent as a result of strong operational performance. Net profit during the period was adversely impacted by movement in the Indonesian currency (Rupiah) compared to last year. Excluding this impact, the operational growth is in line with EBITDA growth.

Sustained performance from Iraq, Qatar, Algeria and Tunisia.

Commercial launch of Fibre project in Qatar to help maintain leadership position and deliver superior customer experience.

Indonesian subsidiary Indosat agreed to the sale and leaseback of approximately 25 percent of its tower portfolio, for a total potential consideration of US 519 million.

Post-period approval of 40 percent rights issue at a price of QAR 75.00 per share after distribution of bonus shares, at 2011 Annual General Assembly.

In the first quarter ended 31 March 2012, the Group delivered a solid financial performance. Positions in key markets remained robust, supported by an ongoing focus on service excellence and the continued roll-out of innovative services across the entire footprint. This sustained strategic focus has enabled the Group to deliver good revenue and profit growth in the first quarter, with Group revenue increasing by 7.6 percent to end the period at QAR 8.0 billion (Q1 2011: QAR 7.5 billion).

As of March 31, 2012 the Group's consolidated customer base stood at 84.4 million (Q1 2011: 75.6 million), representing growth in customer numbers of 11.7 percent. EBITDA for the same period increased 8.0 percent to QAR 3.8 billion (Q1 2011: QAR 3.6 billion). EBITDA margin remained robust throughout the period at 48 percent (Q1 2011: 48 percent).

Net profit attributable to Qtel shareholders decreased by 12.2 percent with Q1 2012 net profit attributable to Qtel shareholders at QAR 0.7 billion (Q1 2011: QAR 0.8 billion) mainly due to foreign exchange losses in Indosat.

Commenting on the results, His Excellency Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammed Bin Saud Al-Thani, Chairman of the Qtel Group said:

"We are pleased to have started a new year in a strong position, clear in our ambition and confident in the direction of our Group. We have outlined a bold new strategy, and our operations are vigorously delivering upon it. In the first months of 2012, we have maintained our reputation for sustainable, profitable growth, delivering a 7.6 percent increase in revenue and an 8.0 percent increase in EBITDA. This positive financial performance continues to be driven by the strength of our in-country operations, the commitment of our operational teams, and the clarity of vision we all share as part of one Qtel Group family."

Also commenting on the results, Dr. Nasser Marafih, Chief Executive Officer of the Qtel Group said:

"This is an excellent start to the year and our strong first quarter performance confirms our view that we have a significant opportunity ahead of us as a Group. Our revised 'Drive' strategy continues to roll out across our operations, ensuring that we remain closely focused on the three key factors that will maintain our growth momentum for the future. By focusing on the customer experience, strengthening the foundations of our business, and investing in growth, I am confident that we not only understand where future profitable growth for our Group can come from, but that we also hold a leadership position in the data, Broadband and connectivity arenas that will be key generators of profits in future years."

Review of Operations

The Group's operational performance can be summarised as follows:

Qtel “ Qatar

Qtel continued to invest in new ways to enhance the customer experience and strengthen its leadership position in Qatar. At the start of the year, it began a corporate transformation programme, reorganising the company into functional business streams to enable faster and more effective decision-making with the aim of serving customers even better. January 2012 also saw the commercial launch of Qtel Fibre, adding an important new service sector for residential and business customers, and making an important contribution to the development of the country's knowledge-based economy.

Qtel maintained its customer base in Qatar to end the quarter with 2.4 million customers (Q1 2011: 2.4 million). Revenue increased by 6.4 percent year-on-year to stand at QAR 1.5 billion (Q1 2011: 1.4 billion). EBITDA performance showed an increase of 2.8 percent year-on-year to QAR 798.0 million (Q1 2011: QAR 776.2 million).

Indosat “ Indonesia

Market conditions in Indonesia have remained challenging throughout the first quarter of the year. However during this time, Indosat has been able to continue to grow its customer base, maintain revenues and increase EBITDA margins. During the first quarter of 2012, Indosat's customer base increased by 13.2 percent to end the period at 52.3 million customers (Q1 2011: 46.2 million). Indosat Q1 2012 revenue stabilized at QAR 2.0 billion (Q1 2011: QAR 2.0 billion). EBITDA during the period increased 3.7 percent year-on-year to end Q1 2012 at QAR 989.9 million (Q1 2011: QAR 954.3 million).

Wataniya Telecom

Wataniya Telecom ("National Mobile Telecommunications Company K.S.C.") encompasses the Qtel Group's businesses in Kuwait, Tunisia, Algeria, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Maldives and Palestine. Kuwait, experiencing a competitive domestic market, saw customer growth of 3.1 percent in Q1 2012, but at the same time a revenue decline of 7.1 percent. (It is worth noting that business in Q1 2011 benefited from the 50th Independence Anniversary and government stimulus payments, which had a positive impact on revenues). Wataniya domestic EBITDA in the first three months of 2012 stood at QAR 322.1 million (Q1 2011: QAR 390.3 million), a decrease of 17.5 percent over the same period in 2011. Nedjma in Algeria delivered another excellent performance. Revenue in Q1 2012 increased by 21 percent to QAR 799.6 million compared to QAR 661.0 million in Q1 2011. Tunisiana once again demonstrated that, even in a difficult economic environment, it can hold its ground against the competition and deliver good performance. The number of customers in Tunisia stood at 6.8 million, up 14 percent over 2011, fuelling revenues of QAR 645.9 million (10.5 percent over Q1 2011). Wataniya Mobile Palestine achieved another key milestone, achieving more than half a million customers and increasing revenue by 27.5 percent to QAR 72.5 million.

Asiacell “ Iraq

Asiacell's ongoing investments in both network quality and service innovations continue to translate into strong brand recognition, excellent customer satisfaction scores and sustained financial growth. Customer numbers have maintained their upward trend, rising 13.0 percent during the first quarter to end Q1 2012 at 9.4 million (Q1 2011: 8.3 million). Revenue also increased year-on-year by 19.2 percent, to end the quarter at QAR 1.6 billion (Q1 2011: QAR 1.4billion). Asiacell also succeeded in further enhancing its EBITDA performance during the period, delivering first quarter EBITDA of QAR 915.4 million (Q1 2011: QAR 778.0 million), an improvement year-on-year of 17.7 percent.

Nawras “ Oman

In the first quarter, Nawras saw the competitive environment in Oman remain challenging. At the same time, continued lower SMS usage was only partially offset by increasing VOIP and data growth. At the end of March 2012, Nawras' customer base stood at 2.0 million customers (Q1 2011: 1.9 million). Revenue generated from this base decreased by 2.5 percent during the period to QAR 461.4 million (Q1 2011: QAR 473.1 million) and EBITDA stood at QAR 228.6 million, a reduction of 5.6 percent compared to the previous year.

Qtel will publish its Q1 2012 financial statement on its website, accessible at: www.qtel.qa


About Qtel
The Qtel Group is a leading international communications company, with a significant presence in the MENA region and Southeast Asia, and having a consolidated customer base of 84 million as of March 2012. It operates a portfolio of brands including Qtel, Indosat, Asiacell, Wataniya, Nawras, Nedjma and Tunisiana. The Qtel Group's principle activities are mobile telephone services, broadband solutions, digital futures and fibre technologies, serving both consumer and business markets. Headquartered in Doha, Qatar, the Qtel Group is ambitiously growing its global business on the basis of its insights into the needs of customers in emerging markets. Qtel Group's ultimate parent company is Qatar Telecom (Qtel) Q.S.C., whose shares are listed on the Qatar Exchange and the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange.Not for distribution, directly or indirectly, in or into the United States, Australia, Canada, Japan or any other jurisdiction where to do so would be unlawful. This communication is not an offer of securities for sale in the United States, Australia, Canada, Japan or any other jurisdiction where to do so would be unlawful. Neither Qatar Telecom Q.S.C. nor any of its subsidiaries has registered, or intends to register, securities in any of these jurisdictions or intends to conduct a public offering of securities in any of these jurisdictions. In particular, no securities of Qatar Telecom Q.S.C. or any of its subsidiaries have been, or will be, registered under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the "Securities Act"), and such securities may not be offered or sold within the United States or to, or for the account or benefit of, U.S. persons (as defined in Regulation S under the Securities Act) except pursuant to an exemption from, or in a transaction not subject to, the registration requirements of the Securities Act and in compliance with any applicable state securities laws.

 






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