Bahrain's Batelco posts 10% rise in net profit to $150.3mln

Total comprehensive income for the year is down by 5%

A trader walks out of Bahrain Bourse after Joe Biden won the U.S. presidency, in Manama, Bahrain, November 8, 2020.

A trader walks out of Bahrain Bourse after Joe Biden won the U.S. presidency, in Manama, Bahrain, November 8, 2020.

REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

MANAMA: Batelco has announced net profit for Q4 2020 of BD6.5 million, a 12 per cent decrease from BD7.4m for the corresponding period of 2019.

However, net profits for the full year 2020 of BD56.7m have increased by 10pc from BD51.6m for 2019.

The increase in net profit is mainly attributable to the 10pc YoY decrease in operating costs which reflects successful cost containment.

Earnings per share (EPS) are 3.9 fils for Q4 compared with 4.5 fils in Q4 2019 resulting in an EPS of 34.2 fils for 2020 compared with an EPS of 31.2 for 2019.

Total comprehensive income for Q4 was BD10.5m, a decrease of 24pc from BD13.8m for the fourth quarter of 2019.

Total comprehensive income for the year is down by 5pc from BD56.3m in 2019 to BD53.4m in 2020.

Revenues for Q4 at BD101.6m decreased by 1pc compared with BD102.9m in Q4 2019.

Similarly, revenues for 2020 were BD387.3m, a decrease of 4pc when compared with BD401.5m for 2019.

Operating profit for the quarter is down by 32pc to BD13.5m from BD19.9m in Q4 2019; while year-on-year operating profit increased by 7pc from BD75.5m in 2019 to BD81.1m in 2020.

EBITDA for Q4 stands at BD34.6m compared with BD35.7m in Q4 2019, a decrease of 3pc.

For 2020, EBITDA increased by 9pc from BD141.7m in 2019 to BD154.7m in 2020 with a healthy EBITDA margin of 40pc, in comparison to 35pc in 2019.

The balance sheet remains strong with total equity of BD473.2m in line with BD473.1m reported as of end-2019.

Total assets of BD992.2m as of end-2020 are also in line with total assets of BD992.9m as of end-2019.

Similarly, net assets as of end-2020 which stand at BD512.1m are in line with BD513.4m reported as of end-2019.

Cash and bank balances are a substantial BD195.3m which reflects the 2020 interim dividend of 13.5 fils per share paid in August 2020.

Batelco’s board of directors has recommended a full year cash dividend of BD49.8m at a value of 30 fils per share, of which 13.5 fils per share was already paid during the third quarter of 2020 with the remaining 16.5 fils to be paid following the AGM in March 2021.

Batelco chairman Shaikh Abdulla bin Khalifa Al Khalifa announced the results following a meeting of the board yesterday.

“Batelco swiftly adapted to the unprecedented circumstances of 2020 to achieve the strategic objectives of the core strategy, which include a focus on cost containment, resulting in 10pc YoY decrease in operating costs and contributing to a 10pc increase in net profits over 2019. The efforts are also reflected in improvements in operating profits and EBITDA which increased by 7pc and 9pc respectively, year-on-year,” Shaikh Abdulla said.

“Delivering value for our shareholders remained central in 2020 and we are proud to announce increased EPS for the year. The share price which reached its highest level in 2020 since 2011 remains strong and reflects the confidence that the market and investors have in Batelco.

“As we move forward in 2021, we will continue to adapt our plans to remain successful and achieve our goals. We are committed to applying best practice corporate governance to support Batelco’s strategy and achieve its vision while ensuring that shareholder value is maximised,” he said.

Batelco chief executive Mikkel Vinter said, “Among the enhancements to meet customers’ changing priorities, fibre speeds were upgraded in 2020, which contributed towards Bahrain being highly ranked for fixed Internet speeds by Ookla. We also continued to grow technologically with achievements such as 5G coverage across Bahrain.

“Over 90pc of the Batelco team worked from home during 2020 due to Covid-19, and we invested much effort in keeping everyone engaged and involved in the business and in creating a great work environment.

“During 2020 we have learned the true meaning of a digital world by navigating the challenges, and driving digital growth will remain central to our plans moving forward, to meet the evolving requirements of consumer and business customers,” Mr Vinter concluded.

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