30/07/2018 07:40 AST

Telecom giant Ooredoo recorded a QR15.3bn in revenue for the first half of 2018 (H1 2018). The revenues were mainly driven by strong contributions from Qatar, Iraq, Oman, Kuwait, Tunisia and Myanmar. Group revenue decreased 6 percent year-on-year.

Group EBITDA stood at QR6.2bn with a corresponding EBITDA margin of 41 percent. Group EBITDA decreased by 10 percent year-on-year mainly due to lower revenue Group net profit attributable to Ooredoo shareholders stood at QR689m. The positive performances in Iraq and Oman were offset by market challenges and lower revenue in Indonesia and Algeria as well as a substantial Foreign Exchange (FX) loss in Myanmar. Pre FX the decrease was 18 percent compared to the reported 37 percent.

Group Customer number stood at 130 million, negatively impacted by the new SIM card registration requirements by the Indonesian regulator Increased monetization of data business, with significant data growth coming from consumer and enterprise customers saw data revenue increasing to 45 percent of Group revenue. Revenue from data contributed almost QR7bn in H1 2018.

Commenting on the results, Sheikh Abdulla bin Mohammed bin Saud Al Thani, Chairman of Ooredoo, said: “Ooredoo Group is at the forefront of telecom innovation globally and I am proud to announce that we are the first operator in the world to launch a live 5G network during the first half of 2018. The new technology brings with it a raft of new possibilities that were simply not possible before 5G and will enable businesses and consumers to unlock more of their potential and prosper in a digital world.

We remain true to our mission of enriching people’s digital lives. During the period, Ooredoo and Leo Messi teamed up once again in a lively campaign to take our customers off the pitch and into a digital world. The integrated “Enjoy the Internet” campaign, brought to life the power of our network and the variety of digital content.

Our financial results come at time when the telecom sector is undergoing significant structural changes combined with unfavourable Foreign Exchange rates as well challenging market conditions. While these factors have affected our financial results for the period in some markets, we have made good operational progress in other markets and I am confident Ooredoo has the right strategy to grow in the new market environment.”

Sheikh Saud bin Nasser Al Thani, Group Chief Executive Officer of Ooredoo said: “The first half of 2018 saw a mixed set of results across our operations, with strong performances in Iraq, Tunisia and Oman, being more than offset by challenging market conditions in Indonesia and Algeria as well as by FX losses in Myanmar. We have seen Revenue increases in Iraq, Oman, Kuwait, Tunisia and Myanmar. 4G networks are now available in 8 of our 10 markets. In Qatar, we launched the world’s first 5G network. We defended our market leadership position in our domestic market as well as in Tunisia and Iraq. Our focus on efficiencies resulted in a sequential improvement of our margins.

In all our markets we have focused on empowering our customers and supporting the local national development agendas by providing fast, reliable and innovative connectivity solutions. 45 percent of our revenues are now generated from our data and digital business.”

Ooredoo Qatar reported revenue of QR3.9bn (H1 2017: QR4.0bn) in the first half of 2018, while EBITDA was stable at almost QR2.0bn. Lower mobile voice and roaming revenues were partially offset by strong performance in corporate ICT sales, following multiple new product launches e.g. the new Fleet Management Services in Qatar. Customer numbers stood at 3.3 million.

The company delivered outstanding progress in network modernisation in the first half of the year, becoming the first operator in the world to launch a live 5G network on the 3.5 GHz spectrum band in May 2018. Ooredoo Qatar added new 5G sites and also brought the world’s first live 5G home broadband device to Qatar during the period. To showcase the power and potential of 5G services, the company successfully demonstrated three futuristic “smart stadium” applications during the final of the Emir Cup in May.

As part of its drive to maintain and build data market leadership, Ooredoo Qatar revamped its post-paid portfolio and added new business services in H1 2018.

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