The Annual General Meeting of Qatar Telecom (Qtel) Q.S.C. before yesterday approved the recommendation of the Board of Directors to distribute a cash dividend of 30 percent of the nominal share value (QAR 3 per share) and a bonus share of 30 percent of the issued share capital.
In addition, the General Assembly also approved the increase of authorised share capital to QAR 5 billion and a 40 percent rights issue (two shares for every five shares held, after the distribution of bonus shares), at a price of QAR 75 per share.
Addressing the meeting, His Excellency Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammed Bin Saud Al-Thani, Chairman, Qtel, spoke of the achievements realised by the company in 2011, and outlined the exciting opportunities presented by the Qtel Group’s refreshed strategy.
His Excellency Sheikh Abdullah said: “The Qtel Group has continued to see the benefits of a diversified financial base, both in terms of markets – with 82 percent of revenue coming from outside Qatar in 2011 – and business segments. We intend to use the fruits of our dynamic growth to improve the customer experience; to strengthen the foundations of our business and to invest in new growth across our operations.”
Driven by customer growth and market share gains across its diverse portfolio, Group revenue increased by 16.0 percent, ending the year at QAR 31.8 billion (FY 2010: QAR 27.4 billion).
The Group’s consolidated customer base stood at 83.4 million at the end of the year, representing a 12.4 percent year-on-year increase. Group EBITDA in 2011 also advanced, increasing by 18.7 percent to QAR 14.8 billion (FY 2010: QAR 12.5 billion). The Group also maintained a strong 47 percent EBITDA margin (FY 2010: 46 percent).
Net profit attributable to Qtel’s shareholders (after normalisation for a one-off favourable decision on the royalty regime in Qatar in 2010 of QAR 554 million) increased year-on-year by 11.6 percent. FY 2011 net profit attributable to Qtel shareholders stood at QAR 2.6 billion (FY 2010: QAR 2.3 billion, normalized).
Highlights of the year include strong performance from the Wataniya portfolio in Kuwait, Tunisia and Algeria, in addition to the first positive EBITDA results in Palestine. Market positions were maintained in key operations of Qatar, Indonesia and Iraq with financial results showing positive growth. The acquisition of an additional stake in Tunisiana, taking the Qtel Group’s effective stake to 39.4 percent, was another key step, as was the launch of the new Qtel Group strategy, with the accent on customer experience, broadband development and productivity.
In addition, the launch of Qtel Fibre in Qatar and of the development of an LTE programme have both contributed to Qtel’s positioning at the cutting-edge of the latest technology.
“Throughout this process of investment and growth, we will stay focused on the needs of our stakeholders, and in particular our customers and the communities we work in. We are taking a fresh look at the way we serve our customers, and aiming to improve it at every step. In addition, we will invest in new technologies and build new partnerships to bring the best possible services to the people of Qatar,” said His Excellency Sheikh Abdullah.
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