Syriatel, which was owned by Rami Makhlouf, the cousin of President Bashar al-Assad, managed to keep its profit levels high last year, despite a dispute between the two parties over the company’s funds.
The company issued a report and submitted it to the Damascus Securities Exchange, in which it disclosed last year’s financials. According to the report, the company’s profits in the first nine months of 2020 amounted to more than 87 billion Syrian pounds (about 30 million dollars), compared to 59 billion pounds for the same period in 2019.
The Syrian government’s share of the company’s revenues — which exceeded 200 billion pounds — amounted to 39.9 billion pounds. The annual wages of the Communications Commission were about 5 billion pounds.
In the 2019 fiscal year, the revenues were about 221.58 billion pounds, of which the government’s share was 43.9 billion pounds, with 3.2 billion pounds as the annual wages of the Communications Commission. The company’s revenues amounted to more than 174 billion pounds.
The net profit of the company amounted to more than 59.32 billion pounds in the first nine months of 2019 — equivalent to more than 39 million dollars, according to the exchange rate in May 2020, which amounted to 1,500 pounds against the dollar.
The two telecommunications companies, Syriatel and MTN Syria, owned by Lebanon in partnership with Syria, are the two main and dominant companies in the cellular communications market in Syria.
Last year, the Damascus government demanded that Makhlouf pay taxes amounting to about 125 billion pounds owed by Syriatel, while the businessman thinks the numbers are inflated. The government ended up seizing the company and appointing a judicial guard to manage its affairs.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.