NIGERIAN MTC ANNOUNCES IMPROVED EARNINGS
The Mobile Telecommunications Company (MTC) has announced its first quarter 2006 results, reflecting increased earnings The financial highlights of the results released weekend showed that subscribers' base had climbed to a total 15.63 million (as at March 31, 2006) including about 7.8 million in Africa.
Consolidated revenues stand at USD 751.09 million ((KD 219.62 million); EBITDA, (USD 359.13 million); and net income, (USD 199.40 million).
MTC, which announced April 17 that its Africa-based subsidiary Celtel had signed a conditional deal to buy 65 percent of Nigeria's Vmobile for just over $1 billion, operates in 13 African countries.
The Chairman of the Company, Asaad Ahmed Al-Banwan was quoted in the statement announcing the results as saying, "MTC's first quarter 2006 financial and operating results are establishing new performance benchmarks for the company and they are confirming to us that the company is performing and delivering above budgets and targets approved late last year. I expect this trend to continue this year and we anticipate excellent results for the year 2006. MTC posted revenues of KD 219.62 million (USD 751.08 million) for the first quarter of 2006 up 144 percent from last year's first quarter,"
He added, "MTC's net income reached KD 58.31 million (USD 199.40 million) up 42 percent compared to last year's first quarter while MTC's EBITDA reached KD 105 million (USD 359.13 million) an increase of 91 percent. MTC is continuing to build and add to the successes of the last 3 years. Our successful acquisition of the 61 percent remainder of Mobitel in Sudan and the upcoming new license opportunities we are evaluating coupled with our ongoing diligent assessment of attractive expansion opportunities in the market will allow us to continue building MTC into a global company," added Mr. Al-Banwan. "The shareholders approved the recommended cash dividend of 85 fils per share plus the 15 percent stock dividend at the annual general meeting of shareholders at the end of March. MTC is maintaining its ability to deliver both growth and current returns to its shareholders placing it among a very select group of companies."
The MTC Group announced that it is serving a growing customer base of over 15.63 million active customers in the Middle East and Africa, reflecting an increase of 348 percent when compared to March 31, 2005 owing to the acquisition of Celtel International.
The company also said that its subsidiaries are consistently the leading operator in the overwhelming majority of the 19 countries where MTC operates.
Dr. Saad Al-Barrak, the Managing Director/Deputy Chairman of MTC was also reported as saying: "The record setting results we are discussing today are the fruits of our ongoing labor over the last three years; they are the confirmation of the success of our profitable expansion strategy. Our ultimate objective of becoming a global company by implementing our 3x3x3 strategy now rests on a solid foundation that includes our Middle East operations and Celtel in Africa; the fastest growing mobile communications market in the world,"
Al-Barrak added: "Our ambitions and appetite are tempered by our diligence in seeking profitable accretive expansion opportunities implemented by identifying new viable existing businesses that will be complimented by new licenses that we strive to acquire allowing MTC's future performance to make it the premier company among its peers. The essential cornerstones of our strategy revolve around excellence, diversity and benevolence. These values permeate everything we do and they are led by our commitment to our Human resources that are our real treasure. We are fully committed to the development of our people and we are committed to ensuring that their incentives are aligned with shareholder objectives in the form of an Employee Stock Option Plan that has been approved and will be launched shortly. Our products, services and technology are tailored to meet our customers' needs and demands. Ensuring that we address all stakeholders is complimented by our commitment to our Corp orate Social Responsibility through the multiple activities sponsored by MTC and our adherence to best practices in all our activities and commitments."
The Group Chief Financial Officer, Ossama Deeb, said the Company has experienced serious growth in three years. He said, "MTC has experienced phenomenal growth in the past three years. The capital increase concluded November last year has strengthened our balance sheet and will allow us to seek an optimal level of access to funds to accommodate the future growth of the Group. MTC's executive management, following the Board of Director's guidance, is ensuring an efficient allocation of financial resources to maximize sustainable shareholder value creation. MTC will secure a medium term revolving credit facility that will allow us discretionary access to funds while reducing the overall cost of capital."
According to him, "MTC now enjoys an enviable profile putting it at par with elite international companies. At its current market capitalization MTC would be in the upper half of the FTSE 100 index of LSE listed companies and given the diversification of its sources of revenues and profits, MTC will continue leveraging its scale and scope to be among the best world class companies."
MTC's largest operation in Africa is in Democratic Republic of Congo where it earned $53 Million revenue on a Celtel's subscriber base of 1.285 Million which it owned 99 percent.