Qatar-based multinational Ooredoo Group reports that its consolidated revenue grew by 1% year-on-year to QAR24.5 billion (USD3.6 billion) in the first nine months of 2017, driven by strong contributions from Indonesia, Oman, Kuwait, Iraq and the Maldives. The company highlighted strong data growth from consumer and enterprise customers: data revenue continued rising to account for 45% of group turnover in the nine-month period, contributing QAR11.1 billion in sales. Consolidated EBITDA in January-September 2017 climbed 3% y-o-y to QAR10.5 billion, with 9M EBITDA margin improving by one percentage point to 43%, thanks to operational optimisation programmes. Group net profit attributable to Ooredoo shareholders decreased by 15% y-o-y to QAR1.6 billion in 9M17 (excluding foreign exchange impact, the profit figure would have decreased by 8%). Additional government levies in Oman, challenging market conditions in Qatar and unfavourable foreign exchanges rates in Tunisia impacted the bottom line, Ooredoo said, adding that net income in 9M16 benefitted from significant forex gains of QAR200 million (reversed in Q4 2016).
Ooredoo’s group customer base reached a milestone of 150 million subscribers in September 2017, representing an increase of 13% y-o-y driven by strong growth in Indonesia, Iraq, Algeria, Tunisia, Oman, Qatar and the Maldives, whilst 4G LTE mobile networks are now operated in eight out of ten Ooredoo markets.
Commenting on the results, Sheikh Saud bin Nasser Al Thani, Group CEO of Ooredoo, said: ‘In our home market in Qatar we continued to grow our customer base and data revenues. In our biggest international operation in Indonesia, we reported positive revenue and EBITDA as a result of growth in customers and the benefits of our cost efficiency programme. Ooredoo Kuwait and Ooredoo Oman reported higher revenues. Asiacell [Iraq] gained more business in liberated areas, enhancing its market leading position. Ooredoo Algeria’s financial results demonstrated an improved operational performance, while Ooredoo Tunisia grew the business in local currency terms. Ooredoo Myanmar reported its third consecutive quarter of positive EBITDA.’ Post-period, Ooredoo’s Wataniya Palestine division launched services in Gaza, an area constituting around 40% of the Palestinian market.
Ooredoo also last week signed a global frame agreement with Japan’s NEC for the provision of microwave communications systems and IP/MPLS (Multi-Protocol Label Switching) systems. The agreement covers all ten Ooredoo operating countries across the Middle East, North Africa and Southeast Asia, with NEC providing end-to-end support for the introduction of its microwave systems including iPASOLINK, as well as the deployment of its IP/MPLS systems and provision of maintenance services over the next three years.