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Batelco to distribute $132m cash dividends for 2020

March 27, 2021
telecom

Bahrain's leading telecom services operator Batelco has announced that its shareholders have approved the board's recommendation for a full year cash dividend of BD49.8 million ($132.1 million) at a value of 30 fils per share for 2020.

Of this, 13.5 fils per share had been paid during the third quarter of 2020 and now the remaining 16.5 fils will be distributed to the investors in the coming weeks.

The endorsement from the Batelco's shareholders came today (March 25) during the company's annual general meeting held virtually in the presence of Batelco Chairman Shaikh Abdulla bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, CEO Mikkel Vinter, CFO Faisal Qamhiyah and other senior officials.

According to Batelco, the AGM was streamed live from the Hamala Headquarters to present the financial and operational achievements before the shareholders and answer their queries.

Jamal Fakhro, Managing Director of KPMG Fakhro, the external auditor, too attended the meeting in Hamala while representatives from Bahrain Bourse joined the meeting virtually.

This meeting was followed by an extraordinary General Meeting to approve changes in the Memorandum and Articles of Association.

Batelco had registered solid results for 2020 with a net profit of BD56.7 million ($150.4 million), up 10% over the previous year's figures of BD51.6 million ($136.9 million).

This increase in net profit was mainly attributable to the 10% YoY decrease in operating costs which reflects Batelco’s successful cost containment programmes.

Earnings per share (EPS) are 3.9 fils for the fourth quarter of 2020 compared to 4.5 fils in Q4 2019 resulting in an EPS of 34.2 fils for the year compared to an EPS of 31.2 for 2019.

On the solid performance, Shaikh Abdulla said: 'We were delighted to announce a strong financial performance for Batelco during 2020, which in turn contributed to good dividends for shareholders. Delivering value for our shareholders remained central in 2020 and we are proud to announce increased EPS for the year.'

'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 10% YoY decrease in operating costs, and contributing to a 10% increase in net profits over 2019. Operating Profits and Ebitda have also witnessed an increase of 7% and 9% respectively, year on year,' noted Abdulla.

'We were delighted to see that Batelco’s share price reached its highest level since 2011 during 2020, outperforming the Bahrain Bourse index by 55% and remains strong, reflecting the Company’s solid performance as well as the trust of investors in Batelco,' he added.

Vinter said Batelco had maintained its investment in forefront technology, digital services and connectivity and was delighted at the progress made.

'We achieved key milestones such as being the first in Bahrain with national 5G coverage reaching 95% of the nation’s population. Another milestone was the launch of the largest certified enterprise Data Center in Bahrain, with both achievements contributing to the growth of the Kingdom’s digital economy,' he noted.

'Going forward, we will stay focused on our vision and strategic plans and deliver on our commitment to the Board, in line with shareholders’ expectations,' he added.

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