Driven by strong contributions from Oman and Kuwait, Ooredoo recorded QR29.9bn in revenue for the year 2018. Most of Ooredoo’s operations delivered a solid performance in 2018. However, group results were significantly impacted by the market situation in Indonesia following the new SIM card registration regulation, challenging market conditions in Algeria and the overall Foreign Exchange weakness in Emerging Markets.
Group revenue before the FX impact decreased by 6 percent, while reported revenue decreased by 8 percent year-on-year. The fourth quarter of 2018 included an adjustment of previous quarters related to the impact of IFRS 15, a new financial reporting standard on revenue recognition. Excluding this impact Q4 revenue declined by 9 percent instead of the reported 12 percent.
Group EBITDA was QR12.2bn with a corresponding EBITDA margin of 41 percent. Group EBITDA decreased by almost 11 percent year-on-year mainly due to lower revenues. Excluding foreign exchange impact, EBITDA decreased by 9 percent, year-on-year.
Group net profit attributable to Ooredoo shareholders was QR1.6bn. The positive performances in Iraq, Oman, Kuwait and Tunisia were offset by market challenges and lower revenues in Indonesia and Algeria. In Q4 Net Profit improved by 40 percent compared to Q4 2017 mainly due to lower tax, regulatory provisions and Foreign Exchange gains in Q4 2018.
Increased monetization of data business, with significant data growth coming from consumer and enterprise customers saw data revenue increasing to 47 percent of Group revenue. Revenue from data contributed QR14.2bn
The Board of Directors proposed a cash dividend of QR2.5 per share for 2018.
Commenting on the results, Sheikh Abdulla bin Mohammed bin Saud Al Thani, Chairman of Ooredoo, said: “Across emerging markets, new digital technologies offer the chance for people and businesses to achieve their full potential and realise new opportunities. Through our robust and clear strategy, Ooredoo is well-positioned to support the introduction and sustain the development of these new technologies across all our markets, as demonstrated through our business results for 2018.”
Ooredoo continued to invest in the infrastructure required to power our digital revolution. “In Qatar, we launched the first commercially available 5G network in the world and became the first telecom operator to test self-driving 5G connected aerial taxis. In Oman, we launched pre-5G with a major home broadband enrichment programme. In Algeria we led the mobile data market by being the first and only operator to cover all 48 wilayas and 48 percent of the population with 4G technology, while in Oman our ‘Supernet’ now covers over 95 percent of the Sultanate’s population, providing better streaming, surfing, sharing and chatting to our customers,” Sheikh Abdulla said.
Ooredoo expanded the B2B business to new areas, leveraging Ooredoo’s market leading capabilities in ICT. In Kuwait, Ooredoo was chosen to provide Boursa Kuwait with disaster recovery services at its data centre and in Indonesia Ooredoo developed a smart cities initiative to manage public services, which was recognized as the most innovative smart city project by Telecom Asia in 2018.
“Traditional telecom services remain under pressure, in line with regional and global trends for our industry, and our financial results for the period reflect these challenges. However, I am pleased to report good growth in terms of EBITDA across the majority of our markets. For our shareholders we continue to deliver long-term growth and value. The Board of Directors proposed a cash dividend of QR 2.5 for 2018,” Ooredoo Chairman added.”
Sheikh Saud bin Nasser Al Thani, Group Chief Executive Officer of Ooredoo said: “Ooredoo Group demonstrated its resilience in a rapidly evolving and increasingly competitive telecommunications landscape. We defended our traditional sources of revenue while developing new income streams to ensure long term value generation for our shareholders. Group revenue was QR29.9bn supported by a steady performance in our home market of Qatar, as well as in Oman and Kuwait.
At a group level our results were impacted by regulatory shifts in Indonesia and currency fluctuations in Tunisia and Algeria. Ooredoo Group delivered a net profit of QR1.6bn and a solid EBITDA margin of 41 percent, supported by cost optimisation initiatives across all our operations.”
Sheikh Saud said Ooredoo Qatar is the leading telecommunications provider in the country, and in spite of operating in a highly penetrated and mature market, it increased the EBITDA by 2 percent, compared to the same period last year. “In Kuwait we increased our revenues by 9 percent driven by customer additions and an increase in handset sales. Ooredoo Myanmar’s EBITDA surged 29 percent and our customer base there grew by 21 percent as we tailored our strategy to serve both urban and rural populations. Ooredoo Algeria maintained its mobile data leadership though network expansion.”
Asiacell Iraq benefitted from the stabilisation of market conditions and reported a 6 percent increase in EBITDA year-on-year. Ooredoo Tunisia reported a strong set of results, revenues were up by 9 percent and EBITDA grew 7 percent in local currency terms.
“In Indonesia, we are beginning to witness a positive shift in market dynamics, with reduced churn rates and better customer loyalty. We reported two consecutive quarters of revenue growth, and put into place a strong strategy to capture further growth in the new market environment,” Sheikh Saud added.
Ooredoo Qatar delivered a steady performance in 2018, building on its market leadership and network expertise to take the lead in the global race to provide 5G services, as well as enhancing its business solutions portfolio and the customer experience.
Revenue dipped 1 percent year-on-year at QR7.7bn. EBTIDA increased by 2 percent to QR4.0bn, supported by cost optimisations. Customer numbers were 3.3 million by year-end.
Ooredoo Qatar’s drive to be a leader in 5G services continued, with 90 5G sites live across the country by year-end and the company being assigned 5G spectrum for commercial use by the regulator. The roll-out of Ooredoo Fibre saw ongoing success, with 405,000 homes connected to the service by year-end. In addition, the company’s digital entertainment service, Ooredoo tv, grew its customer base significantly, registering 14 percent year-on-year growth.
Source from: The Peninsula