Qatar’s Ooredoo Group has posted a 6% year-on-year decrease in consolidated H1 2018 revenue to QAR15.3 billion (USD4.1 billion), reporting that strong contributions from its divisions in Qatar, Iraq, Oman, Kuwait, Tunisia and Myanmar were offset by reductions in Indonesia and Algeria. Group EBITDA stood at QAR6.2 billion in January-June 2018, down by 10% y-o-y mainly due to lower revenue. Group net profit in the first half of the year dropped by 37% to QAR689 million, as Ooredoo said positive net income performances in Iraq and Oman were offset by market challenges and lower revenue in Indonesia and Algeria as well as a substantial foreign exchange (FX) loss in Myanmar. Pre-FX the y-o-y decrease in group net profit was 18%. Consolidated group customer numbers declined by 13% in a year to 130 million at 30 June 2018, negatively impacted by new mobile SIM card registration requirements in Indonesia. Ooredoo also highlighted that data services growth from consumer and enterprise customers drove its data revenue up to almost QAR7 billion in 1H18, accounting for 45% of group turnover.
Domestically, Ooredoo Qatar reported revenue of QAR3.9 billion (H1 2017: QAR4.0 billion) in the first half of 2018, while Qatari EBITDA was stable at almost QAR2.0 billion. Lower mobile voice and roaming revenues were partially offset by strong performance in corporate ICT sales, following multiple new product launches e.g. a new Fleet Management Service in Qatar. Total Qatari subscriber numbers stood at 3.3 million at mid-2018. Ooredoo has been grabbing headlines recently by claiming a world first live 5G NR (Non-Standalone) 3.5GHz network switched on in Doha in May; it clarified this month that it had just 25 test home broadband devices connected to the network so far, with additional broadband devices expected to be available for customer usage soon. Ooredoo’s strategy is to have a 100% 5G-ready national network for customers to use commercial 5G handsets as soon as they become available next year.