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Mobile firm Viva Kuwait full-year profit jumps six-fold

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Reuters – Viva Kuwait reported a more than six-fold rise in annual profit on Monday as the mobile telecommunications operator increased its customer base by a third.

The Saudi Telecom Co (STC) affiliate made a net profit of KWD 24.25m ($86m) in 2013, up from KWD 3.87m a year earlier, according to its website.

Viva, which competes with Zain and Ooredoo subsidiary Wataniya, said it had 2.15 million mobile customers in 2013, up from 1.62 million subscribers a year earlier.

This increase has boosted its market share to 33% from 29%, the company said.

Viva, which launched operations in 2008 and turned profitable in 2012, said its annual revenue rose 33% to KWD 182.42m last year.

STC received KWD 6.39m in management fees from Viva in 2013, up from KWD 4.81m a year earlier.

STC owns 26% of Viva, while Kuwait’s government holds 24%.

Viva sold the remaining 50% in a September 2008 initial public offering that raised KWD  25m, but has yet to list on Kuwait’s bourse.

In its annual report, Viva said it applied to the Capital Market Authority (CMA) in April 2012 for approval to list on Kuwait’s bourse, but was still awaiting a response.

The CMA could not be immediately reached for comment.

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