Orascom posts 4Q/FY 2010 net losses as local currency depreciates against USD

20 Apr 2011

Egypt’s Orascom Telecom has posted a net loss of USD169.53 million in the last three months of 2010 on the back of both the depreciation of the local currency against the US dollar and increased pressure in foreign markets. The company noted that as its primary accounts are held in Egyptian pounds the appreciation of the US dollar against the local currency had ‘had a significant effect on the mark to market value of the US dollar denominated debt at Orascom Telecom Holding of approximately USD3.5 billion.’ For the twelve months ended 31 December 2010 Orascom posted a net profit of USD781.45 million, more than double the USD378.63 million reported for 2009, which the company attributed predominantly to gains recognised as a result of its revised agreements with France Telecom regarding the ownership of Egyptian cellco MobiNil.

In terms of turnover, in 4Q 2010 Orascom reported revenues of USD980 million, while full-year revenues totalled USD3.825 billion, up 2% year-on-year; Orascom noted that it was not including results from Orascom Telecom Tunisia, which the company agreed to sell in January 2011. All of the group’s subsidiaries reported revenue growth bar Algerian operator Djezzy, which Orascom noted had endured ‘the persistence of an adverse operating environment.’ Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) in 4Q10 stood at USD402.24 million, while in FY2010 it was USD1.584 billion, up 4% y-o-y.

At end-December 2010 Orascom’s consolidated subscriber base was 101.683 million, with its Pakistani unit, Mobilink, accounting for the largest number of those, some 31.794 million, up 3.2% against end-2009. MobiNil reported a wireless subscriber base of 30.225 million at the end of the year, up almost 20% against end-2009, while the largest percentage increase was reported at Telecel Globe – which comprises the group’s operations in Namibia, Zimbabwe, the Central African Republic and Burundi – where customer numbers increased by 77.8% to 3.242 million. Bangladeshi unit Banglalink meanwhile reported a subscriber base of 19.3327 million at 31 December 2010, up almost 40% compared to the same date a year earlier, which Orascom said was the result of aggressive acquisition and strong customer retention strategies.

Commenting on the results Khaled Bichara, Orascom’s Group CEO, said: ‘The year 2010 has proven to be a year of significant milestones aiding the growth of Orascom Telecom Holding on an operational and strategic level.’