Ooredoo Q1 net profit up 9.7pc to QR887m

 01 May 2014 - 7:11


DOHA: Ooredoo QSC’s net profit increased 9.7 percent to QR887m for the first quarter of 2014 on year-on-year. The Group’s revenue decreased 3.4 percent due to the challenging operating environment and depreciation of the Indonesian Rupiah compared to first quarter 2013; partially offset by strong growth in data revenue.
The first quarter of 2014 saw robust results in the Group’s operations in Qatar, Oman and Algeria. Earnings per share for the first quarter stood at QR2.77 (Q1, 2013: QR2.52). The quarter witnessed a strong customer growth of 6.3 percent to 96.7 million.
The operating environment remained tough with persistent price competition in Iraq, Kuwait and Indonesia.
Commenting on the results, Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammed Bin Saud Al Thani, Chairman of Ooredoo, said: “Ooredoo has produced satisfactory results for the first quarter of 2014. Whilst our markets and our opportunities continue to grow, competition also continues to intensify. However, the trends we are seeing across our markets demonstrate that our investment into delivering the best customer experience is a positive strategy. We continue to believe that communication technology can transform people’s lives, and that is what we intend to do across our global footprint as we invest in building mobile broadband networks.”
Dr Nasser Marafih, Group Chief Executive Officer of Ooredoo said: “Ooredoo’s revenue in the first quarter of 2014 was driven by the increase in mobile and fixed data revenues across our markets. We are starting to see the results of our strategy with the positive performances of markets such as Qatar, Oman, and Algeria where we have invested in deepening and expanding our network capability with positive results.” 
Ooredoo Qatar delivered solid results during the quarter, with revenue growing by 8.3 percent year-on-year to QR1.706bn (Q1 2013: QR1.575bn) and a consolidated customer base of 2.9 million. EBITDA performance showed a healthy increase of 7.4 percent year-on-year to QR828 million. 
As Ooredoo Qatar seeks to make the country one of the best-connected in the world, the company saw several key broadband milestones during the quarter. Ooredoo Qatar reached nationwide coverage of the first and fastest 4G LTE network, with its 500th LTE site. 
The group’s Indosat in Indonesia recorded a net profit of QR261m (Q1, 2013: QR17m) in the first quarter. Wataniya Telecom (National Mobile Telecommunications Company K S C) encompasses the Ooredoo Group’s businesses in Kuwait, Tunisia, Algeria, the Maldives and Palestine. Wataniya’s revenue for the first three months 2014 was QR2.35bn: a year-on-year increase of 1 percent.
Ooredoo Algeria’s revenues increased by 19.2 percent to QR1.10bn (Q1 2013: QR926m). Wataniya Kuwait began to see the initial success of its recovery strategy as it gained market share, increasing its customer base by 12.1 percent to 2.22 m illion compared to the first quarter of 2013. 
Tunisiana continued to face the challenge of Tunisia’s political and economic instability although the business produced relatively stable revenue and EBITDA for the first quarter at QR586m (Q1 2013: QR613m) and QR289m (Q1 2013: QR309m), respectively. 
Wataniya Palestine grew its revenue by 4.5 percent to QR77.5m (Q1 2013: QR74.2m) and increased its customer base by 5 percent to 649,260 (Q1 2013: 619,648). 
Ooredoo Maldives grew its customer base by 37 percent to 256,955 compared to the first quarter 2013. Both revenue and EBITDA increased, 16.6 percent and 17.4 percent, respectively to QR49.9m and QR16.8m. 
Nawras’s (Oman) revenue increased by 9.3 percent.
Asiacell (Iraq) revenue for the first quarter was QR1.61bn (Q1 2013: QR1.73bn), a decrease of 6.4 percent; EBITDA was down by 15.1 percent to QR764m and EBITDA margin was also down to 47 percent.
Ooredoo Myanmar plans to launch its 3G+ network by the third quarter in Mandalay, Nay Pyi Taw and Yangon and within five years will provide voice and data services to 97 percent of the population. The Peninsula