EBITDA for the period was US$296.0 million, compared to US$191.0 million for the same period of 2004. This translates to an EBITDA margin of 46% up from 43% in the first nine months of 2004.
Net profit, including minority interests, for the period to September 30, 2005 was US$162.6 million, compared to US$119.9 million for 2004, representing a year-on-year increase of 35.6%. Net profit margin (net profit as a percentage of gross operating revenue) stood at 25.2% for the nine months to September 30, 2005, compared to 25.5% for the same period in 2004 (after deduction of an extraordinary profit of US$7.1 million due to the disposal of an investment in associates).
Taha Mikati, Chairman of Investcom, said:
“It is my pleasure to report on nine months of intense activity that captured strong growth in revenues and profits surpassing those achieved in the full twelve months to December 2004. We continue to capitalize on strong and growing consumer demand for mobile telecommunications in Africa and the Middle East without sacrificing profitability.”
At the end of September 2005, Investcom was managing 3.7million mobile subscribers through its AreebaTM or Spacetel brands in Benin, Cyprus, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Syria and Yemen and Sudan. This was up from 3.3 million in June 2005. On November 15, 2005, the company reported having exceeded its target of 4 million subscribers.
Gross operating revenue from mobile telephony comprises the main component of Investcom Group’s sales, representing 90.8% of gross operating revenue in the first nine months to September 30, 2005. Overall growth in Investcom’s customer base and increased mobile penetration across a majority of its operating countries has positively impacted gross operating revenue.
Gross operating revenue for mobile telephony amounting to US$586.4 million was up by 49.1% year on year in the nine months to September 30, 2005.
Investcom currently operates mobile networks in eight countries and has also recently been awarded GSM licenses to build and operate mobile networks in Afghanistan and Guinea, expanding its operations to ten countries and boosting its combined population under license to approx. 147 million.
Gross operating revenue (after inter-company eliminations) for other services, including international carrier services, fixed telephony and engineering, was up by 23.4% year-on-year, in the nine months to September 30, 2005, at US$59.5 million. This represents 9.2% of total consolidated operating revenue in 2005.
Commenting on the operational performance, Azmi Mikati, Investcom’s Chief Executive, said:
“We continue to make significant progress in our mission to be a leading international telecommunications company in each of the markets in which we operate. Our strategy has been to expand into markets which present exciting, high growth opportunities and as this set of results and our current subscriber numbers show, we are executing on this strategy.”
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