VEON reported that its group consolidated revenues declined 5.1% year-on-year in Q1 2021 to USD1.989 billion due to currency headwinds, while it noted a 4.3% y-o-y improvement in local currency group revenues. Russia (Beeline) saw further improvement in revenue trends, with 1Q21 y-o-y local currency growth of 1.4% being the third successive quarter of an upward revenue trend. Group mobile data revenues for the period increased by 13.6% y-o-y in local currencies (up 3.8% in reported currency), driven by growth in 4G mobile users with correspondingly higher ARPUs.
Group EBITDA increased by 4.4% y-o-y in local currency terms in 1Q21, while reported EBITDA declined 4.9% to USD875 million due to adverse currency movements. Upward local currency EBITDA trends were noted in Ukraine (12.4%) and Pakistan (+8.1%). In Russia, the business reported a y-o-y decline in local currency EBITDA of 4.8%, although this was a marked improvement over the 11.9% drop reported in 4Q20. Group CAPEX of USD425 million in Q1 2021 supported the continued expansion of 4G; the combined 4G population coverage of VEON’s operating companies reached 75.9% at end-March, an increase of 10.9 percentage points in twelve months. Digital services continue to expand their reach, with more than 23 million monthly active users across the VEON group’s digital products at the end of the quarter.