Qatar-based multinational telecoms group Ooredoo has posted consolidated revenue in the third quarter and first nine months of 2014 which dropped year-on-year by 1% and 3% respectively to QAR8.335 billion (USD2.267 billion) and QAR24.839 billion. Group EBITDA also shrank, by 7% and 9% in 3Q14 and 9M14 respectively to QAR3.365 billion and QAR10.234 billion, although net profit attributable to Ooredoo shareholders increased by 11% to QAR375 million in Q3 and rose by 0.5% in January-September to QAR2.079 billion. Consolidated customer base across the group grew by 7% to 95.7 million at 30 September 2014, up from 89.6 million a year earlier.
Ooredoo’s earnings release attributed the negative group revenue trend to the challenging market environments in Indonesia, Kuwait, Iraq and Tunisia, which offset positive performances in Qatar, Oman and Algeria; excluding the impact of Indonesian foreign currency exchange (FX), group revenue would have increased by 1% in 9M14. Ooredoo added that, excluding the impact of Indonesian FX and start-up costs in its newest market Myanmar (where its 3G network launched in mid-August 2014), EBITDA would have decreased by 3% compared to the reported 9% reduction in 9M14.
Announced alongside the financial results, Ooredoo’s Omani subsidiary, formerly branded Nawras, has now officially adopted the Ooredoo brand.
Ooredoo also noted in its earnings release that its Indonesian subsidiary Indosat has taken a ‘prudent’ provision of QAR416 million against the pending final outcome of a court case relating to a 2006 contract under which Indosat’s subsidiary IM2 leased capacity on its parent’s 3G network for mobile dongle-based services; on 16 September 2014 a fine against IM2 was reportedly decided on, but formal notification of the decision is awaited.