Batelco profits down after exit from India

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Batelco Group has reported an 8 per cent decline in net profits after its exit from India and subsequent drop in its mobile-subscriber base.

The Bahrain telecommunications firm reported profits of 16.1 million Bahrani dinars ($42.7 million) in the first quarter of 2012, compared with 17.5 million dinars during the same period last year.

A drop in mobile subscribers was partly to blame for the lower profits.

Batelco said in February it had sold its stake in India's STel, after the Indian operator's licences, along those of several other firms, were revoked in an ongoing corruption scandal.

That contributed to a 40 per cent decline in Batelco Group's mobile customers during the first quarter, compared with the previous quarter.

Excluding the STel divestment, Batelco Group saw a 9 per cent drop in mobile subscribers during the period, it said.

Batelco, which has operations in six countries, reported revenues of 78.0 million Bahraini dinars ($206.9 million) for the first three months of the year, down 4 per cent from the same period last year.