Netherlands-based multinational telecoms group VEON’s total revenue in reported currency dropped by 4.0% year-on-year to USD2.223 billion in the third quarter of 2019, while organic (local currencies) revenue decreased by 0.9%, although if excluding the impact of regulatory changes in Pakistan revenue would have increased by 2.4% organically. Largest group unit, Russia (Beeline), posted a 1.3% 3Q19 sales drop to USD1.157 billion (falling 2.7% in local currency) and revenue at second largest division, Pakistan (Jazz), decreased by 27.5% to USD286 million (falling 7.0% in local currency). Reported group EBITDA reached USD987 million in the three months to 30 September 2019, up 16.5% y-o-y, as VEON’s group subscriber base grew 0.5% y-o-y to 212 million. VEON highlighted that momentum in mobile data revenue continued in 3Q19, growing by 18.4% y-o-y, with Ukraine (up 36.9%), Pakistan (up 25.2%) and Bangladesh (up 26.4%) delivering strong data performances on the back of ongoing 4G LTE investments.
VEON’s Q3 report noted that the completion of the mandatory tender offer for its Global Telecom Holdings (GTH) division has resulted in the delisting of GTH and the transfer of Jazz (Pakistan), Banglalink (Bangladesh) and Med Cable (Algeria) from GTH to VEON Holdings, whilst the intragroup transfers of Djezzy (Algeria) and Mobilink Bank (Pakistan) ‘are continuing’.
VEON also confirmed that on 31 October 2019 the Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA) that the group entered into with the US Department of Justice on 18 February 2016 expired, marking the conclusion of the compliance monitoring required by the DPA and VEON’s settlement with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, and demonstrating that VEON has established a sustainable compliance and controls programme. The DPA/compliance measures had accompanied VEON’s monetary settlement with US authorities in a case regarding former corruption in Uzbekistan.