Kuwait telco Wataniya post slight drop in Q3 profit

DUBAI Thu Oct 24, 2013 1:32am EDT

DUBAI Oct 24 (Reuters) - Wataniya, Kuwait's No.2 telecom operator, reported a slight drop in third-quarter profit on Thursday, missing analysts' estimates as the company's underperformance continued.

The firm, a subsidiary of Qatar's Ooredoo, had reported declining profits in six of the preceding seven quarters and in March it appointed Abdulaziz Fakhroo as chief executive, its third CEO in less than a year.

Wataniya made a net profit of 15.34 million dinars ($54.43 million)in the three months to Sept. 30, down from 15.53 million dinars in the year-earlier period, according to a statement to the Kuwaiti bourse.

Analysts polled by Reuters on average forecast Wataniya would make a quarterly profit of 24 million dinars.

Wataniya made a net profit of 57.7 million dinars in the first nine months of 2013, down from 62.9 million for the same period a year earlier.

The company did not state its revenue for the quarter or the nine-month period.

In Kuwait, Wataniya competes with Zain and Viva, an affiliate of Saudi Telecom Co, while it also has operations in Algeria, Tunisia, the Maldives, Saudi Arabia and the Palestinian Territories.

In October 2012, Ooredoo paid $1.8 billion to raise its stake in Wataniya to 92.1 percent from 52.5 percent. ($1 = 0.2819 Kuwaiti dinars) (Reporting by Matt Smith; Editing by Dinesh Nair)

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