Ooredoo saw revenues of QR7.8bn in the first three months of this year, driven by strong contributions from Iraq, Kuwait, Tunisia, Palestine and Myanmar.
The group EBITDA (earnings before interest taxes depreciation and amortisation) stood at QR3bn with a corresponding EBITDA margin of 39%.
Net profit fell 17% to QR486mn. The positive performance in Iraq and Myanmar was offset by market challenges in Indonesia and Algeria.
The increased monetisation of data business, with significant data growth coming from consumer and enterprise customers: saw data revenue increasing to 43% of group revenue. Revenue from data contributed QR3.3bn in Q1 2018.
Customer base grew 1% to more than 150mn, driven by multiple customer acquisition activities in Iraq, Tunisia, the Maldives and Palestine.
“The start of 2018 saw good performances in some of our markets, however challenging market conditions and new regulations impacted the overall performance of the group,” Sheikh Abdulla bin Mohamed bin Saud al-Thani, chairman of Ooredoo, said.
Market competition, certain regulatory and tax changes have adversely impacted the financial results for the first three months of the year, said Sheikh Saud bin Nasser al-Thani, Group CEO of Ooredoo.
Ooredoo Qatar reported revenue of QR2bn, while EBITDA was QR985mn. Lower mobile voice and roaming revenues were partially offset by sales of Ooredoo tv and devices, reflecting the strong market appetite for new technology in Qatar. Customer numbers stood at 3.3mn, following a concerted effort to clear-up customer records and remove inactive SIMs from the market.
Ooredoo Oman saw slight EBITDA growth for Q1, 2018 with a 53% EBITDA margin against a background of flat revenue of QR661mn. Customer base was stable at 3mn.
Kuwait operations saw revenues of QR795mn, driven by post-paid packages in combination with handset sales that led to a compression of margins. Consequently, EBITDA was QR146mn in Q1 2018. Customer base was 2.2mn.
Asiacell Iraq saw revenue increase 6% to QR1.1bn and EBITDA by 12%, reaching QR538mn, positively impacted by increased revenue and good control of operating expenses. EBITDA margin improved to 48%, up from 45% in Q1 2017.
Ooredoo Algeria saw revenues of QR733mn and EBITDA of QR306mn in Q1 2018. The Algerian Dinar depreciated by 4% year on year.
In Tunisia, revenues increased to QR387mn in Q1 2018, while EBITDA was stable at QR144mn. In local currency terms, revenue increased 8% and EBITDA increased 6%, compared to the same period last year.
In Asia, new regulation on SIM card registrations saw its biggest international market Indonesia report significant pressure on top line performance. Revenue shrank 23% to QR1.5bn, due to the loss of revenue from non-compliant customers and a change from a “push” to a “pull” distribution strategy.
A decline in voice and SMS, which is an industry-wide challenge, has also negatively impacted revenue. The operating expenditure was reduced through tight cost control and group efficiencies. Due to revenue decrease, EBITDA was down 35% in Q1 2018 to QR586mn.
Ooredoo Myanmar reported strong financial results, with the highest revenue achieved up to date of QR374mn, representing an increase of 16%.
EBITDA more than tripled to QR65mn, while EBITDA margin of 17% was also the highest achieved up to date, underpinned by strong cost and efficiency programme.
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