Amsterdam-headquartered multinational telecoms group VEON announced its results for the quarter ended 30 September 2020, with consolidated revenue falling 10.4% year-on-year to USD1.993 billion, mainly due to currency headwinds, as the decline in local currency terms was limited to 1.3% y-o-y. All VEON’s operations recorded improved trends compared to the preceding quarter as COVID-19 lockdown restrictions eased, and the group recorded a quarter-on-quarter increase in its total mobile customer base with net additions of three million in 3Q20 to 207 million (although down from 212 million a year earlier). Strong growth in 4G users resumed, with the group total rising by 20 million y-o-y and by eight million quarter-on-quarter to 73 million. Ongoing network investment saw aggregate 4G population coverage increase 18 percentage points y-o-y to 69%. VEON also noted double-digit growth in mobile data revenue, up 13.1% y-o-y in local currencies as customers switched back from fixed line services as lockdown restrictions eased, and with 4G user ARPUs on average two times higher than the total customer base ARPU.
Reported EBITDA decreased by 9% y-o-y to USD898 million in Q3 due to currency headwinds; in local currency EBITDA increased by 0.1% y-o-y. VEON recorded a non-cash impairment of USD790 million, primarily against the carrying value of goodwill in Russia, which drove its 3Q20 net income to a loss of USD645 million; net profit before impairments was USD145 million.