Investcom reports full year 2005 results | Investcom reports full year 2005 results -
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Investcom reports full year 2005 results

Lebanon: Tuesday, April 11 - 2006 @ 14:18

Financial Statements have been prepared in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), but are as yet unaudited.

Full year 2005 highlights include:

• Total mobile subscribers up 91 percent on 2004 to 4.9 million
• Gross operating revenues reached US$903 million, an increase of 43% percent on 31 December 2004
• EBITDA reached US$396 million, a year-on-year increase of 42%
• EBITDA margin for the year ended December 31, 2005 was 44%
• Net profit for the year ended December 31, 2005 up 31%1 year-on-year to US$207.8 million

1 Excludes the positive effect in net profit in 2004 from a one-off gain of US$7.1 million resulting from the disposal of Mobinvest.

Chairman’s statement

Commenting on the full year results, Mr. Taha Mikati, Chairman of Investcom, said: “It is my pleasure to report on a year of record achievement and one that has been a milestone in the evolution of our company. In 2005, we made significant progress in our mission to be a leading international telecommunications company in each of the markets in which we operate. This is especially the case for our mobile telecommunications business in the regions of Asia, Africa, and Europe where we are already demonstrating a strong competitive advantage.

“The expansion of our subscriber base has translated into very strong financial performance for the year. Investcom’s revenues have grown rapidly, reaching US$903 million, up 43% on the previous year. More importantly we continue to improve profitability, with EBITDA of US$396 million for the full year 2005, and a net profit of US$207.8 million. Many of our operations were EBITDA and net income positive in their first year of operation and improving on this level of profitability is something our management team continues to be highly focused on.

“Growth also continued geographically. Our strategy has always been to target telecommunications markets that are under-penetrated and which we believe represent exciting, high growth opportunities. In September, we were awarded one of two new licenses to operate GSM services in Afghanistan, a country with an approximate population of 30 million and very low mobile penetration, which is clearly in a crucial stage of infrastructure development. But, one which represents a large market opportunity for us.

“At the same time we extended our coverage in West Africa with a new license to build and operate a GSM network under the Areeba brand in Guinea, a country with an approximate population of 10 million, where mobile penetration growth is already outpacing that of fixed line telecommunications, as consumers opt for the cost and convenience of mobile connectivity.

“The build-out in both of these territories is well underway and we remain on track to launch commercial services in both Guinea and Afghanistan during the first half of 2006. These new operations have boosted Investcom’s licensed population coverage to 147 million, in ten countries.

“Another exciting market opportunity is Sudan, with its large population and sizeable, flat land mass. In July 2005, with the high-profile commercial launch of services under our Areeba network, we became the second mobile phone operator in Sudan. By the end of 2005, after just five months of operation, we have already added 268,517 subscribers; an immense achievement in the timeframe.

“Our ability to upgrade our technology and launch multiple services so rapidly is evidence of how Investcom is beginning to deliver the advantages of scale and scope and, in particular, shows the breadth of our operational and technological expertise across emerging and high growth telecommunications markets.”

Summary

Investcom is a fast-paced, international telecommunications company with operations in ten countries in Asia, Africa, and Europe.

Following the launch of the mobile network in Lebanon, Investcom has worked to expand its telecommunications portfolio to become one of the leading operators in some of the most exciting, high-growth telecommunications markets in the Middle East and Africa.

Investcom owns and operates GSM networks, mostly under the Areeba™ brand, in Syria, Ghana, Yemen, Benin, Liberia, Cyprus, Guinea-Bissau and Sudan and has also recently been awarded GSM licenses to build and operate mobile networks in Afghanistan and Guinea. This expands our operations to ten countries and boosts the combined population we have under license to approximately 147 million. While still at single digit mobile penetration rates, many of Investcom’s operating countries have seen dynamic growth in the number of mobile users over the last few years, with more and more people becoming ‘mobile’ on a daily basis.

Investcom also provides international carrier services, principally through its operations in Monaco, fixed telephony services in the United Kingdom and telecommunications engineering and consulting services.

In constantly expanding its international portfolio into new territories, Investcom seeks to leverage its experienced management team and track record of developing and operating mobile telecommunications businesses. The result is a diverse revenue base, drawn from strong customer demand and loyalty, which, because of strict financial planning and controls, it is able to operate on a profitable basis.

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Tuesday, April 11- 2006 @ 14:18 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.

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