Wataniya profits from Djezzy struggle

21 October 2010

Customer base and revenue increase for Kuwaiti group

Kuwait-based telecoms operator Wataniya has benefited from the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the future of Algerian mobile operator Djezzy, a subsidiary of Orascom. Wataniya’s customer base in Algeria increased to more than 8 million by the end of September 2010, a growth of almost 36 per cent since the same period last year.

The complications surrounding Djezzy have helped Wataniya’s Algerian unit turn a net profit of KD0.2m ($0.7m) in the nine months to end-September compared with a net loss of KD6.4m in the same period in 2009.

Russian telecoms operator Vimplecom intends to acquire Djezzy as part of deal struck with Orascom, but the Algerian government recently announced its plans to buy the mobile company, which has the largest customer base in the country.

Wataniya’s group revenue rose by 14 per cent, but net profits for the nine months to end-September decreased to KD85.1m compared with KD108.3m in the same period in 2009. This was a result of the KD52.1m in reverse provisions following the legal case filed by the Communications Ministry. The court ruled in favour of Wataniya.

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