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Sonatel of Senegal Profit Fell 16% in 2011 as Tax Breaks End

Feb. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Sonatel, the Senegalese telecommunications company that operates in four West African nations, said profit fell 16 percent in 2011 as tax breaks in Mali ended.

Net income for the unit of France Telecom SA declined to 154.4 billion CFA francs ($306 million) from 184.8 billion francs a year earlier, the company said in a statement e-mailed by the Abidjan-based Bourse Regionale des Valeurs Mobilieres.

Revenue at the company, the largest on the exchange with a market capitalization of 1.24 billion francs, increased 6 percent to 635.4 billion francs, Sonatel said.

The drop in net income is due to “the end of the tax exemption on the results” in Mali, Sonatel said in the statement, without giving further details.

Mobile-phone subscribers rose 30 percent to 14.2 million, while landline users increased 0.2 percent to 283,185, the Dakar-based company said. Internet users rose 15 percent to 106,811.

Sonatel’s market share increased in Senegal, Guinea and Guinea-Bissau and fell in Mali. France Telecom controls 42 percent of the company, with the Senegalese government, shareholders and employees holding the remainder.

Sontael’s shares were unchanged at 124,000 francs in Abidjan trading today.

To contact the reporter on this story: Olivier Monnier in Abidjan at omonnier@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Emily Bowers at ebowers1@bloomberg.net

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