Operator group Ooredoo reported a drop in Q3 profit, as it was hit by foreign exchange weakness in its emerging markets and challenges in Indonesia following new SIM registration rules.
Quarterly profit of QAR403 million ($110.7 million) was down from QAR462 million, while revenue decreased to QAR7.5 billion from QAR8.2 billion.
In its home market of Qatar, the company said it “made important progress in the global race to provide commercial 5G services”, establishing more than 80 live sites. It has tested “the world’s first self-driving 5G-connected aerial taxi”.
But, in more concrete terms, it said that in the quarter “digital entertainment and business services were key drivers of growth”.
For Indonesia, the company said it is “starting to see early signs of growth”, as the market adjusts to new SIM card registration regulation introduced early this year. Ooredoo said it maintains a “cautiously optimistic view”, with long-term opportunities in the new environment from a more loyal customer base with lower churn rates.
Algeria also proved challenging due to devaluation of the Algerian dinar, intense price competition and a weak economic environment.
But in contrast, Kuawait, Oman, Iraq, Myanmar and Tunisia all delivered more robust results.
On a group level, the company reported a total customer base of 120 million, down from 150 million at end-September 2017. The lion’s share of the decrease was attributable to Indonesia, with its new regulatory regime.Subscribe to our daily newsletter