Batelco eyes $265m profit

Bahrain Telecommunications Co (Batelco) expects its 2010 profit to be flat from last year as start-up costs for its new Indian unit weigh, its chief executive said yesterday.

"Our target is again to achieve a triple digit million profit, that is a hundred million Bahraini dinars ($265m, Dh974m) if not higher," Peter Kaliaropoulos told a news conference in Manama. Batelco posted a net profit of BD105m for 2009. Kaliaropoulos added he expected "roughly the same level" as the 2009 profit if the company did not make any acquisition during 2010. He said shareholders should at least expect the same dividend for 2010 regardless of whether the company will make its planned buy.

He said full-year profit would be burdened by start-up costs of its new Indian subsidiary S Tel that started operations late last year and reached 500,000 subscribers last week.

He said while Batelco's 2009 revenues grew by nine per cent, its net profit remained flat partially because the company booked provisions against a fine it potentially needs to pay to Bahrain's telecoms regulator.

 

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