Egyptian telecoms group Orascom has announced that net profits increased by 184% to EGP2 billion (USD300 million) for the twelve months to 31 December 2004, on the back of a 93% jump in revenues to EGP12.5 billion (USD2 billion). Strong subscriber growth fuelled the impressive figures, with total consolidated subscribers weighing in at 14.5 million, up 28% in the final quarter of 2004 and 89% year-on-year. Proportionate subscribers stood at 8.5 million.
Orascom Telecom Algeria (Djezzy) posted the largest hike in subscribers out of the group’s nine subsidiaries operating GSM networks, with customer growth of 170% in the year to end December with 3.4 million in total (2.0 million proportionate). Elsewhere, Orascom has subsidiaries in Pakistan (Mobilink), Egypt (MobiNil), Iraq (Iraqna), Tunisia (Tunisiana), Bangladesh (Banglalink), Zimbabwe (Telecel), Democratic Republic of Congo (Oasis) and Republic of Congo (Libertis). In 2004 it sold its network in Côte d’Ivoire and ceased operations in Chad.
Orascom predicts similarly high double digit growth in subscribers and revenues for 2005, but fired a word of warning in saying that it expects ARPU to fall as the company’s subsidiaries ‘penetrate lower income segments’ within existing markets. Capital expenditure – which stood at USD683 million in 2003 and USD1.1 billion in 2004 – is likely to continue to rise as Banglalink ramps up network rollout.