* Q4 profit 10.3 mln rials vs 11.9 mln rials a yr ago
* Q4 revenue 51.4 mln rials vs 50.8 mln rials a yr ago
* Full-year profit 37 million rials, down 22.1 pct from 2011
* Blames drop on falling text and on-network call revenue
By Matt Smith
DUBAI, Jan 27 - Nawras, Oman's No.2 telecoms
operator, posted a 13.4 percent drop in fourth-quarter profit, a
fourth consecutive quarterly decline, as falling revenue from
texts and on-network calls weighed on the bottom line.
Internet-based services such as instant messaging and
Voice-Over-IP phone (VoIP) calls have hurt margins of Gulf
telecoms companies as the region's large expatriate population
has increasingly shifted away from conventional calls and texts
to contact home.
Nawras, majority-owned by Qatar Telecom (Qtel), on
Sunday reported a net profit of 10.3 million rials ($26.75
million) for the three months to Dec. 31, down from 11.9 million
in the year-earlier quarter.
Annual profit for 2012 fell 22.1 percent to 37 million rials
from the year before, it said in a statement. Full-year revenue
dipped 1.7 percent to 193.5 million rials.
The profit slump comes even while Nawras's customer base
increased 11 percent to 2.2 million.
"The decline in revenue is primarily driven by a reduction
in SMS (text) and on-net voice revenue, partially offset by
growth in both mobile and fixed data revenues," Nawras said.
For the fourth quarter, however, the company, which ended
Oman Telecommunication Co's (Omantel) monopoly in 2005,
reported revenue of 51.4 million rials, compared with 50.8
million rials a year ago.
($1 = 0.3850 Omani rials)
(editing by Jane Baird)