Egypt telecom (photo: Al-Ahram)
Fixed-line monopoly Telecom Egypt reported a 61.3 percent drop in third-quarter net profit on Wednesday, due to several one-off and operational costs related to license fee payments and tax liabilities.
It said net profit fell to 251.9 million Egyptian pounds ($35.2 million) from 650.8 million pounds a year earlier, while third-quarter revenue fell 5.2 percent from the previous year.
Chief Executive Officer Mohamed Elnawawy said revenue was up 9.5 percent in the first nine months of the year, driven partly by an improvement in the retail business, which saw a surge in broadband subscriptions.
But a delayed settlement in license fees paid to the regulator as well as an increase in deferred taxes on liabilities and a larger salary bill weighed on the bottom line.
The company said it was still on track to meet its 2014 growth target, though. "With the exception of international carrier affairs, all core business units have delivered growth this year," it said.
Elnawawy said the company expected to receive a unified license for mobile and landlines by the end of the year, which would open the way for Telecom Egypt to offer mobile services.
The government approved the license framework in September but it has yet to be activated.