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Omantel Q2 profit falls 19 pct on higher expenses

Operating expenses in H1 rise 25 pct.


August 11, 2010 11:02 by

Oman Telecommunications Co (Omantel) posted a 19-percent drop in second-quarter net profit, missing analysts forecasts, as its operating costs rose.

The national telecoms provider made a profit of 28.56 million rials ($74.18 million) in the three month period ending in June, according to Reuters calculations based on previous statements, compared with 35.1 million rials for the same period in 2009.

Analysts polled by Reuters had estimated an average second quarter profit of 33.04 million rials.

The company’s operating expenses rose 25 percent in the first half of 2010, according to a statement posted on the bourse web site, without elaborating.

Omantel’s monopoly in the Gulf Arab state was broken by Nawras, a unit of Qatar Telecommunications Co, and the company faces increasing competition from mobile virtual network operators.

Gulf Arab state Oman, which owns 70 percent of Omantel, invited investor interest in July 2008 for the sale of a 25 percent stake in the operator, but halted the process as the financial crisis swept across the Gulf Arab region.

Plans for a stake sale remain on hold for the time being but the economy minister said in January that it could be revived in 2010.

(Reporting by Nicolas Parasie, Editing by Dinesh Nair)


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