Consolidated revenue at Qatari multinational telecoms group Ooredoo fell by 1% year-on-year in the first quarter to QAR8.037 billion (USD2.206 billion), while EBITDA declined by 5% to QAR3.205 billion, despite the total number of customers increasing by 14% y-o-y to 111 million at 31 March 2015, driven by mobile user uptake in Indonesia, Myanmar and Algeria. Revenues continued to be pressured by challenging market conditions in Iraq and Tunisia, while excluding a negative foreign exchange (FX) impact in Indonesia and Algeria, revenue would have increased by 3%, helped by strong turnover trends in Qatar, Oman, Maldives and Myanmar. Similarly, excluding the adverse FX impact group net profit attributable to shareholders in Q1 would have decreased by 4%, but the reported net figure plunged 43% y-o-y to QAR501 million.
In January-March 2015 data revenue reached 30% of group turnover, driven by Ooredoo’s twin focus on consumer and B2B customers, while boosted by recent mobile broadband launches, such as Iraqi subsidiary Asiacell’s 3G network launch in January – reaching more than two million 3G customers during the quarter – and Ooredoo Kuwait’s LTE-A upgrade. Domestically, fixed and mobile operator Ooredoo Qatar delivered 16% Q1 revenue growth to QAR1.986 billion driven by Qatari customers rising by 12% to 3.3 million. Qatar-only EBITDA increased by 18% to QAR980 million and domestic net profit increased by 88% to QAR616 million in the quarter due to higher EBITDA and sale of investments.