Manama, Bahrain: Batelco Group (Ticker: BATELCO), the international Telecommunications Group with operations across 14 countries, today held its Annual General Meeting (AGM) for the twelve-months ended 31 December 2018 (“the year”) at its Hamala headquarters, in the presence of Shareholders, Company Directors, Batelco management and members of the media.
The Group’s 39th AGM saw shareholders approve the recommendation of the Board of Directors for a full year cash dividend of BD45.7M (US$121.2M), at a value of 27.5 fils per share, of which 10 fils per share was already paid during the third quarter of 2018 with the remaining 17.5 fils to be paid in the coming weeks.
Speaking on the occasion, Batelco Chairman Shaikh Abdulla bin Khalifa Al Khalifa said: “Batelco is committed to delivering greater returns for its shareholders with its efforts leading to improved dividends.”
“We were delighted to announce 7% year over year growth to reach our highest revenues since Batelco’s inception of BD405.9M (US$1,076.7) with the revenues positively bolstered by continued strong performance at Batelco Bahrain. EBITDA for 2018 increased by 15% over 2017 to reach BD142.8M (US$378.8M) with EDITDA margin of 35%.”
“We have a strong platform in place to build on in order to sustain long-term success for the Group and continue to deliver strong value for our shareholders,” Shaikh Abdulla said.
Batelco Group CEO Ihab Hinnawi said that 2018 was a turnaround year for the Batelco Group supported by the ongoing rollout of the Group’s transformation strategy and key investments in targeted services, leading to a significant increase in shareholder return.
“We are very pleased to note that diversifying our revenues has paid back, with particular positive impact achieved by the acceleration of fibre implementation and data penetration. Our efforts resulted in significant improvement for Fixed Broadband, Datacom services and for digital services across our markets of operation.”
Mr. Hinnawi continued by saying that delivering unmatched customer experience is of the utmost importance to Batelco Group and that related programmes begun two years ago have ensured that Batelco maintained market leadership and realised improvements in all customer experience metrics in key markets.
“We will continue throughout the coming year to further enhance our relationship with customers and use business intelligence and data analytics as key drivers to create more customer centric operations,” he added.
Before concluding the meeting, Batelco Chairman Shaikh Abdulla extended his appreciation to management across the Group and all employees for their efforts in turning Batelco around and increasing shareholder return significantly.
“I also want to offer my appreciation to our shareholders for their support at all times; their confidence in our strategies is invaluable to us,” Shaikh Abdulla stated.
Batelco Group is headquartered in the Kingdom of Bahrain and listed on the Bahrain Bourse. Batelco has played a pivotal role in the country’s development as a major communications hub and today is the leading integrated communications’ provider, continuing to lead and shape the local consumer market and the enterprise ICT market. Batelco has been growing overseas via investing in other market-leading fixed and wireless operators.
Batelco Group has evolved from being a regional Middle Eastern operation to become a major communications company with direct and indirect investments across 14 geographies, namely Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Egypt, Guernsey, Jersey, Isle of Man, Maldives, Diego Garcia, St. Helena, Ascension Island and the Falkland Islands.