Qatar-based telecoms group Ooredoo has reported a 1% increase in full-year consolidated revenues to QAR32.735 billion (USD8.989 billion) in 2017, driven by strong contributions from Indonesia (Indosat Ooredoo), Iraq (Asiacell), Ooredoo Kuwait and Ooredoo Maldives. Group twelve-month EBITDA increased 3% to QAR13.783 billion with a corresponding one percentage point rise in EBITDA margin to 42%, helped by cost savings achieved via operational streamlining, centralised purchasing and infrastructure sharing. New government levies in Oman and one-off provision reversals in 2016 led to a 10% decrease in consolidated net profit attributable to Ooredoo shareholders to QAR1.967 billion in the year ended 31 December 2017.
Increased monetisation of its data business, with significant data growth coming from consumer and enterprise customers, saw data revenue increase to 46% of group revenue in FY 2017. Revenue from data contributed QAR15.3 billion in 2017, up 16% from QAR13.1 billion in 2016. Group B2B revenue was roughly flat at QAR5.5 billion in 2017 (17% of the total), having previously grown by 6% in FY16.
Ooredoo reported that its consolidated customer base grew 18% year-on-year to 164 million at the end of December 2017, driven by ‘multiple customer acquisition activities’ in Indonesia, Iraq, Oman, Algeria, Tunisia, the Maldives and Palestinian Territory.
Domestically, Ooredoo Qatar saw its revenues fall to QAR7.8 billion in FY 2017 from the previous year’s QAR8.0 billion (compared to a 1% revenue rise in 2016), while Qatari EBITDA also slipped slightly, from QAR4.0 billion to QAR3.9 billion in 2017 (similarly reversing a 1% increase in 2016). Note that political factors are likely to have inhibited Qatari revenue growth, due to the trade and travel boycott imposed on Qatar by neighbouring Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Egypt since June 2017.