by Satish Kanady
DOHA: Driven by a combination of continued customer growth and strong average revenue per user (ARPU), Vodafone Qatar’s revenue grew by 18 percent to QR696m for the six months ended 30 September 2012. The strong ARPU has resulted in a 57 percent EBITDA improvement, achieving QR102m, over the same period last year.
Announcing the half-year results, Richard Daly, Vodafone Qatar’s Chief Executive Officer said the ARPU increased to 118, a seven percent year-on-year growth. Vodafone Qatar’s customer base expanded to 936,300 mobile customers as on 30 September 2012, an increase of 15 percent compared to September 20 11.
“This is an extremely fast growth and the figures state half of Qatar’s population is using Vodafone network”, he said.
Vodafone Qatar recorded a net loss of QR240m for the six months, an underlying improvement of 8.5 percent compared to the same period last year.
Richard commented: “During the first half of the year we launched a number of new products into the market. Post-paid services were our biggest launch since start-up and something that all of us at Vodafone are incredibly proud of. Early customer feedback has been positive, particularly amongst our Qatari customers.”
Majority of Vodafone Qatar’s customers are Qataris and high value Indian consumers, he said.
“Our mobile network quality has also continued to improve with sufficient capacity to accommodate both our significant customer growth and the soaring data volumes we have seen. This increased demand has not stopped us from improving customer experience and call completion rates have continued to improve, now exceeding or on par with international benchmarks. This is in part thanks to our newly developed fibre network.”
“We will continue to develop this fibre network and in partnership with Q.NBN and use it to launch innovative new services such as superfast Fixed Broadband and converged Enterprise offerings in the second half of this year.”
Vodafone Qatar is scheduled to launch its Mobile Number Portability in Spring 2013. We believe portability is the right of the consumers, Richard said.
Steve Walters, Chief Financial Officer, Vodafone Qatar, said the 18 percent growth in total revenue has helped Vodafone Qatar improve its market share by 1.4 points. The underlying improvement in net loss and distributable profits are due to strong EBITDA growth despite the cumulative impact of significant network investment.