Muscat: Telecommunications company Omantel registered a net profit of OMR57.4 million in 2017, the company CEO Talal Mamari announced.
Mamari added that the company’s net profit for the first quarter of 2018 was OMR18.1 million compared to OMR23.8 million in the first quarter of 2017.
He pegged Omantel’s earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) at OMR152.4 million.
The CEO added that the domestic revenue had been 9.8 per cent higher than the same last year, thanks in great part to a stellar performance of broadband and wholesale sectors.
He put the growth from fixed landline retail revenues at 3.9 per cent and mobile retail revenues at 2 per cent.
The CEO added that the company was on a fast growth track. He remarked that he was not concerned about the slight dip in the profits for the first quarter of 2018, as compared to the same period last year.
“We are not too concerned about the dip in profits as some of the issues are seasonal. We hope that some of these events are seasonal in nature. Some aspects that we have to recall is the bond issuance and the course of that transaction.
“But the overall health of the market is still there, albeit with increased competition. Significantly, we have been able to grow at over 9 per cent. So, that is encouraging as well,” Mamari remarked.
‘Still optimistic about Zain Group stake’
The company CEO reiterated that the best was yet to come from Omantel’s acquisition of a 21.9 per cent stake in Kuwaiti telecommunications company Zain Group.
He said that Omantel had offered a full debt financed transaction of $2.25 billion, besides a cash injection of $849 million into Zain. Omantel now has a majority of board members, five in all, he added.
Mamari expressed confidence that Zain Group and Omantel would perform better together, adding that they had set estimated a synergy of $80 million in 2019.
“We admit that the integration has not been full fledged, but that is deliberate. It is wise to wait four or five years and decide on the nature of the integration. We have to realise that it is an integration across nine markets.
“Some raised concerns about Zain’s operations in Sudan. Much of it was down to the country’s currency value. Once it stabilises, we’ll do better. Still, we grew at 30 per cent in Sudan, which is unprecedented,” he said.
He added that he was not concerned about the repayment of the debt incurred from Zain group.
“Omantel has received dividends that will cover our requirements as far the year 2018 is concerned. So, this nullifies the risk. Our internal capability to generate cash flow is reasonably good and we are not worried. Also, we are paying off our loans in a long term process. So, that gives us some breathing space,” Mamari said.