Manama, Bahrain: Batelco (Ticker: BATELCO), announced net profit attributable to equity holders of the company for Q4 2021 of BD12.7M (US$33.7M), a 95% increase from BD6.5M (US$17.2M) for the corresponding quarter of 2020. Earnings per share (EPS) are 7.7 fils for the fourth quarter of 2021 compared to 3.9 fils in Q4 2020. Total comprehensive income attributable to equity holders in Q4 2021 was reported at BD11.2M (US$29.7M), a 7% increase from BD10.5M (US$27.9M) in the fourth quarter of 2020.
Revenues for the fourth quarter in 2021 of BD103.3M (US$274.0M) increased by 2% compared to BD101.6M (US$269.5M) in Q4 2020. Operating profit for Q4 2021 is up by 34% to BD18.1M (US$48.0M) from BD13.5M (US$35.8M) in Q4 2020. EBITDA stands at BD37.0M (US$98.1M) in Q4 2021 compared to BD34.6M (US$91.8M) in Q4 2020, an increase of 7%.
For the full year of 2021, net profit attributable to equity holders of the company of BD65.9M (US$174.8M) increased by 16% from BD56.7M (US$150.4M) in 2020. The increase in net profit is mainly attributable to increases in revenues throughout the year. Earnings per share (EPS) are 39.8 fils for the year compared to an EPS of 34.2 for 2020.
Total comprehensive income attributable to equity holders of the company is up by 34% from BD53.4M (US$141.6M) in 2020 to BD71.7M (US$190.2M) in 2021. Similarly, 2021 revenues of BD399.6M (US$1,059.9M), increased by 3% when compared to BD387.3M (US$1,027.3M) of revenues in 2020. The increase in revenues is mainly due to YoY increases in fixed broadband, adjacent services and wholesale revenues of 11%, 7% and 9% respectively.
Operating profits increased by 10% from BD81.1M (US$215.1M) in 2020 to BD89.2M (US$236.6M) in 2021. Similarly, EBITDA increased by 5% from BD154.7M (US$410.3M) in 2020 to BD163.0M (US$432.4M) in 2021, with a healthy EBITDA margin of 41%.
Batelco’s balance sheet remains strong with total equity attributable to equity holders of the company of BD489.6M (US$1,298.7M) as of 31 December 2021, 3% higher than BD473.2M (US$1,255.2M) reported as of 31 December 2020. Total assets of BD1,030.6M (US$2,733.7M) as of 31 December 2021 have increased by 4% compared to total assets of BD992.2M (US$2,631.8M) as of 31 December 2020. Net assets as of 31 December 2021 which stand at BD530.7M (US$1,407.7M) are 4% higher than BD512.1M (US$1,358.4M) reported as of 31 December 2020. The Company’s cash and bank balances are a substantial BD220.7M (US$585.4M), which reflects the 2021 interim dividend of 13.5 fils per share paid in August 2021.
Batelco is committed to delivering excellent returns to its shareholders and accordingly, the Board of Directors has recommended a full year cash dividend of BD49.8M (US$132.1M), at a value of 30 fils per share to be agreed at the Annual General Meeting, of which 13.5 fils per share was already paid during the third quarter of 2021 with the remaining 16.5 fils to be paid following the AGM in March 2022.
Financial and Operational Highlights>
Batelco Chairman Shaikh Abdulla bin Khalifa Al Khalifa announced the 2021 4th Quarter and full year financial results following a meeting of the Board of Directors on Thursday 24 February at Batelco Headquarters, Hamala, Kingdom of Bahrain.
“The Board is very pleased to finish 2021 with positive financial results, achieving 16% increase in Net Profits, 3% increase in Revenues, and Operating Profit and EBITDA up by 10% and 5% respectively. The results for 2021 reflect the successful execution of Batelco’s strategy which include strengthening the core business and implementing new and upgraded solutions as part of the Company’s ambitious digitisation plans.”
“The past year was distinguished by key achievements across our core businesses and advances in our digital growth, including the launch of Batelco’s first digital brand, Beyon Money. We are extremely happy to enter this new chapter and look forward to seeing the developments in the coming year.”
“Reflecting the importance of people, Batelco continued with initiatives aimed at nurturing its team members, developing a high-performance culture and an admirable workplace environment. I am delighted to note that these efforts resulted in Batelco being recognised as a great workplace, by Great Place to Work® Institute Middle East, for the second year. Furthermore, I personally presented rewards to Batelco’s team members who were selected throughout 2021 as part of the 2nd annual Chairman’s Award programme.”
“The combined knowledge and experience contributed by my colleagues on the Board is invaluable and I offer each one my personal thanks for the roles they played in helping to ensure we continued to meet the expectations of Batelco’s shareholders. I also offer my appreciation to Batelco’s management and team members for their efforts in implementing Batelco’s strategy, which helped to deliver this strong set of financial results.”
“Batelco’s Board places great importance on meeting shareholders’ expectations and we are pleased to announce a good increase in EPS for 2021. On behalf of my colleagues, I want to thank our shareholders for the confidence they place in our strategic direction, and we will remain committed to delivering excellent returns on their investment in the year ahead.”
“Batelco was gratified to see the government announcement of a new national economic growth and fiscal balance plan aimed at supporting the post-Covid recovery. Accordingly, on behalf of Batelco’s Board I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince and Prime Minister, for the ongoing support which is vital for all sectors including telecoms.”
“The many successes of 2021 have provided us with a strong platform as we take on ambitious plans for 2022. Digital growth will continue to factor strongly in the Company’s plans to play a bigger role in areas beyond our traditional core business. I have confidence in the commitment of Batelco’s management and team members and look forward to a successful year ahead,” Shaikh Abdulla concluded.
Commenting on the Company’s performance, Batelco CEO Mikkel Vinter said, “I’m pleased that Batelco maintained a solid performance over the course of 2021 with year-on-year increases in fixed broadband, adjacent services, and wholesale revenues of 11%, 7% and 9% respectively, contributing to increased revenues and an overall strong performance for the year.”
“Throughout 2021, Batelco has made good progress on our digital growth strategy. This included the establishment of a financial services company, culminating in the launch of Beyon Money, the first digital financial Super App in Bahrain. The service delivers direct Open Banking access to consumers in Bahrain as well as enabling a range of financial transactions.”
“With an ongoing focus on our team, Batelco invests heavily in developing high-performing and motivated team members through collaboration with international education partners, and we are pleased to see these efforts are producing significant results. As part of this, a group of Batelco’s young Bahraini talents successfully completed an executive development programme with London Business School, and a new programme will take place in 2022 to develop high potential Bahrainis for executive leadership roles, in collaboration with eCornell, Cornell University’s professional education unit,” said Mr. Vinter.
“Batelco established a new sustainability function and strategy during 2021 in line with best international practice, with one of the strategic pillars being to produce clean energy to support the vision of net zero carbon. We are pleased to see that Batelco’s new Solar Park is already providing clean energy to power one of the Company’s Data Centers. The Park produces a total of 1,600 MWh of clean energy, which will aid in reducing approximately 900 tonnes of carbon emissions annually. Our sustainability efforts are beginning to make a significant difference and as a result, our ESG rating has improved substantially,” he added.
“Furthermore, to give back to the community, we extend our initiatives to create strong social impact. Among key programmes launched in 2021, we introduced an annual 4-year university scholarship to give access to talented government school students to an international education, in collaboration with the American University of Bahrain.”
Before concluding, Mr. Vinter extended his appreciation to Batelco’s Board of Directors for their guidance and invaluable support, and also offered his personal thanks to the management team and all team members for their efforts which ensured a very successful operational year.
This press release, along with the full set of financial statements, is available on the Bahrain Bourse website and on Batelco website, www.batelco.com
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