Viva Kuwait’s revenues declined by 14% to KWD66.6 million (USD216.6 million) in the first quarter of 2019 compared to KWD77.6 million in 1Q18, which the company explained was due to certain promotions in 1Q18 resulting in a spike in revenue, whereas for 2019 Viva adopted a ‘balanced operating policy in its marketing strategy to focus on quality’. Nonetheless, the earnings maintained Viva’s position as the second largest operator by sales in the Kuwaiti market, behind Zain and ahead of Ooredoo. Furthermore, despite the lower revenue, Viva recorded 4.2% year-on-year growth in quarterly EBITDA to KWD18.7 million, boosting EBITDA margin by five percentage points to 28%, driven by enhancements to operational efficiency. The cellco posted a net profit of KWD9.6 million for January-March. Viva Kuwait’s mobile customer base stood at 2.04 million at 31 March 2019, it confirmed, putting it in third place in user market share terms behind Ooredoo Kuwait.
Ooredoo Kuwait reported significant year-on-year EBITDA growth of 48% in local currency terms to KWD17.5 million in the first quarter of 2019, representing EBITDA margin improvement from 18% to 31%, which the group attributed to ‘a favourable mix between service revenue and handset sales’, a positive IFRS 16 accounting standards impact as well as improved operational efficiencies and cost optimisations. Revenue, however, was down 14% y-o-y to KWD56.1 million in the first quarter mainly due to reduced handset sales. Ooredoo Kuwait’s customer base increased to 2.5 million at end-March 2019, up by 13% compared to Q1 2018.