Despite “currency volatility in emerging markets and the security situation in Iraq,” Ooredoo Group posted a net profit of QR2.1bn in 2015.
Excluding the forex impact, the group net profit to shareholders in 2015 would have increased by 6% year-on-year (y-o-y), Ooredoo said last night.
Supported by an improvement in emerging market currencies towards the end of the year, quarterly net profit to Ooredoo shareholders stood at QR360mn in Q4, 2015, an increase of 551% compared with QR55mn in Q4, 2014 which was impacted by one-off customer acquisition and handset costs in Algeria.
Group revenue reached QR32.2bn in 2015 “supported by strong revenue growth” in local currency terms in Qatar, Oman, Indonesia, Myanmar, Algeria, Kuwait and the Maldives.
Group customers reached 117mn at the end of 2015, an increase of 9% or 9.5mn “net customer adds” over 2014 “driven by strong performances” in Qatar, Indonesia, Myanmar, Oman, Algeria, Maldives and Palestine.
Group EBITDA increased by 1%, exceeding QR13bn in 2015 with an “improved” EBITDA margin of 40%. Excluding foreign exchange translation impact, 2015 group EBITDA would have increased by 8% y-o-y, indicating a strong underlying operational performance.
Quarterly EBITDA increased by 11% y-o-y to QR3bn in Q4, 2015. Group earnings per share stood at QR6.61 in 2015, compared with QR6.66 in 2014.
Group data revenues demonstrated robust growth during 2015 as Ooredoo “enhanced network speeds and coverage” across markets and focused on data package offerings to customers. Data revenue increased to QR12bn in 2015 and now represents 37% of the group revenue compared to 25% in 2014, confirming the success of Ooredoo’s early adoption strategy.
Revenue in the B2B segment increased by 10% y-o-y to QR5.2bn in 2015, reflecting Ooredoo’s continued focus on B2B services and growth in the enterprise customer base.
Ooredoo’s board of directors has recommended a cash dividend of QR3 per share, which represents 30% of the nominal share value.
On the results, Ooredoo Group chairman Sheikh Abdulla bin Mohamed bin Saud al-Thani said, “Ooredoo Group delivered a strong performance in 2015 adding 9.5mn new customers and reaching a global customer base of 117mn. Despite currency volatility in emerging markets and the security situation in Iraq, our underlying financial and operational performance was solid. We grew revenue and EBITDA in local currency terms in our primary markets and continued to roll out the Ooredoo brand across our footprint.” Ooredoo Group chief executive officer Sheikh Saud bin Nasser al-Thani said, “Ooredoo Group’s performance was robust during 2015 as we generated organic revenue growth in local currency terms in Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, Algeria, Indonesia, Myanmar, Palestine and Maldives.”
Ooredoo Qatar customer base expands 11% to 3.5mn
Ooredoo Qatar delivered a “robust performance” in 2015 driven by continued growth in customer numbers and double-digit growth in revenue and EBITDA.
Its wireless broadband customers grew strongly, while total customers increased by 11% to 3.5mn.
Revenue grew 10% to QR7.9bn and EBITDA by 16% to QR3.99bn in 2015.
Ooredoo Qatar maintained its data leadership position and increased its overall market share during 2015, driven by strong revenue growth in both mobile (+11%) and fixed line services (+10%).
The launch of “Ooredoo Supernet” in August 2015 represents the most significant network evolution in the company’s history encompassing all mobile, fixed, Wi-Fi, and digital entertainment services, and supported by a number of important technological breakthroughs, including a first-of-its-kind speed test using 4G LTE Advanced Category (achieved a peak data rate of 600 mbps).
The ongoing expansion of 4G+ and fibre services provided customers access to higher speeds and wider coverage.
The other network initiatives included the launch of Ooredoo-branded free onboard Wi-Fi on Qatar Airways flights and a full network optimisation programme.
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