VEON (formerly VimpelCom) has reported a consolidated group revenue increase of 13% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2017, benefitting from currency appreciation and the recent merger with Warid Telecom in Pakistan. The group noted, however, that revenues in local currencies decreased by 1% in the same period, due to weakness in Algeria, partially offset by strong growth in Pakistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. VEON also noted strong organic growth in group mobile data revenue of 31% year-on-year in the three months ended 31 March 2017, whilst its Q1 EBITDA increased 14% y-o-y – similarly benefiting from currency tailwinds and the Warid transaction – although underlying ‘organic’ (local currency terms) EBITDA rose by 0.5%. The group also confirmed that its FY 2017 financial targets were unchanged.
VEON’s headline figures for 1Q17 were reported as: revenue USD2.281 billion, EBITDA USD861 million and net loss USD4 million (compared to net profit of USD187 million reported in 1Q17). Total mobile customers reached 207 million (excluding VEON’s Italy joint venture) at end-March 2017, up from 194 million twelve months previously.