Ooredoo Group has announced its results for the nine months ended 30 September 2018. Consolidated 9M18 revenue of QAR22.775 billion (USD6.247 billion) fell 7% year-on-year, negatively impacted by foreign exchange weakness in emerging markets as well as the market situation in Indonesia following new SIM card registration regulation. Ooredoo highlighted underlying strong revenue growth contributions from Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Iraq and Myanmar, offset by reductions in Indonesia (Indosat Ooredoo) and Algeria. Group EBITDA stood at QAR9.337 billion in January-September 2018, down 11% y-o-y, with EBITDA margin of 41% (43% in 9M17), mainly due to lower revenue (whilst pre-foreign exchange EBITDA decreased 9%). Group net profit attributable to Ooredoo shareholders was 30% lower y-o-y at QAR1.092 billion in the first nine months of the year, as positive performances in Iraq, Oman and Tunisia were offset by market challenges in Indonesia and Algeria as well as a substantial FX loss in Myanmar. Ooredoo also reported that data revenue represented QAR10.5 billion (46% of group turnover) in 9M18, compared to QAR11.1 billion (45% of total revenue) recorded in 9M17.
Group customers numbered 120 million at the end of September 2018, down 20% from 150 million twelve months earlier, in large part due to the Indonesian SIM registration scheme. Subscribers fell in Qatar too, however, from 3.5 million to 3.3 million – although the Qatari division claimed ‘an improved revenue mix’ – while at Ooredoo Algeria customer numbers declined by 3% to 13.8 million, blamed on intense price competition and a weak economic environment. Other subsidiaries grew their user bases: Ooredoo Myanmar customers grew by 23% to 9.4 million, despite the entry of a fourth operator; Asiacell (Iraq) enlarged its base by 6% to 13.3 million; Ooredoo subscribers in Tunisia increased 5% to 8.8 million; and Ooredoo Kuwait users were up 2% at 2.3 million.
Ooredoo added in its press release that it ‘made important progress in the global race to provide commercial 5G services’, having now established 80-plus ‘live’ 5G cell sites in Qatar.