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Batelco Sees Rise in Profit This Year on Sale of India Stake

Feb. 22 (Bloomberg) -- Bahrain Telecommunications Co., the state-controlled company known as Batelco, said its profit this year will probably show a double-digit percentage increase helped by a one-time gain on the sale of its Indian unit STel.

Batelco forecast a “low single digit” decline in full year revenue. Increasing competition in Bahrain is putting pressure on margins, the company said today in a presentation.

The dividend payment will be consistent with previous years, it added. The company paid a cash dividend of $152.8 million last year, representing a 72 percent payout at the value of 40 fils per share.

Batelco announced Feb. 8 selling its 42.7 percent stake in STel Private Ltd., a mobile operator in India, for $174.5 million, after the nation’s top court canceled licenses in a corruption probe.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tamara Walid in Dubai via twalid@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Inal Ersan at iersan@bloomberg.net

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