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Kuwait’s Wataniya telecom profit dives 31%

Company attributes drop to tough competition

Gulf News

Kuwait City: National Mobile Telecommunications Co of Kuwait (Wataniya) reported on Wednesday a 31.1 per cent slide in net profit in the first quarter of 2013 due to competition and tough economic conditions.

Wataniya, in which Qatar’s Qtel owns 92.1 per cent, posted 19.5 million dinars ($68.7 million) in the first three months of 2013 compared to 28.3 million dinars ($99.6 million) a year ago, the company said in a statement.

The company attributed the drop to tough competition in the Kuwaiti market, a difficult economic situation in Tunisia and the impact of the foreign exchange rate in Algeria.

Wataniya operates in Kuwait, Algeria, the Maldives, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and the Palestinian territories. It served 19.4 million subscribers on March 31, up from 18.1 million clients a year ago.

Last year, the company’s net profit dived 21 per cent to $267.6 million. Wataniya assets grew 1.7 per cent to $5.3 billion on March 31.

Two other mobile firms, Mobile Telecommunications Co (Zain) and Kuwait Telecommunications Co (VIVA), also operate in Kuwait.