Qatar-based Ooredoo Group’s first half 2021 revenue stood at QAR14.509 billion (USD3.963 billion), an increase of 3% compared to the same period last year, mainly driven by growth in its home market (5%), Indonesia (14%) and Tunisia (8%). Excluding foreign exchange impact, revenue would have increased by 5%. Group EBITDA for H1 2021 was QAR6.440 billion, up 7% year-on-year, with a corresponding EBITDA margin of 44% (up two percentage points), driven by improved performance in Indonesia, Qatar, Kuwait, Tunisia and Algeria, as Ooredoo reported further progression in its digital strategy with effective management of costs and overheads despite the challenges presented by COVID-19. The group’s consolidated customer base increased by 1% y-o-y to 118 million at 30 June 2021 helped by increases in Indonesia, Oman and Iraq (Asiacell), offsetting declines in other markets. Group net profit attributable to shareholders turned negative due to impairments (QAR2.341 billion, mainly from Ooredoo Myanmar due to the uncertain political environment) partially offset by profit from the sale and leaseback of Indosat Ooredoo’s tower assets in Indonesia (QAR1.0 billion). Excluding these one-offs and FX impact, ‘normalised’ net profit increased by 52% to QAR930 million.
Ooredoo Qatar reported growth in post-paid mobile services, mobile financial services, Ooredoo TV and B2B services alongside higher device sales driving the rise in 1H21 revenues to QAR3.7 billion (H1 2020: QAR3.5 billion), with Qatari EBITDA reaching QAR2.0 billion (1H20: QAR1.9 billion). The total wireless and wireline customer base continued falling to around 3.0 million, reflecting the changing demographics of Qatar during the period, but despite the decrease in population and the QAR3.5 million financial sanctions imposed on the company by the Communications Regulatory Authority for non-compliance with interconnection and tariff rules, Ooredoo Qatar hailed a ‘very strong performance’ including a 6% improvement in service revenue. It highlighted contributions from the recent launches of Ooredoo ONE ‘All-In-One’ home services and new post-paid plans bundling OTT content alongside the ongoing shift towards app-based business delivery which boosted optimisation efforts.