Middle East group Ooredoo touted “positive trends” in Q3, including strong growth in its customer base, although its bottom line was less impressive.
Profit for the three months to 30 September halved to QAR370 million ($101.6 million), on revenue which increased 2 per cent to QAR8.4 billion. EBITDA increased 3 per cent to QAR3.7 billion.
While the company did not state what led to the decrease, it did note foreign exchange issues in the quarter. Ooredoo had seen rising profits in previous quarters (indeed, for the nine months the profit performance is still positive, up 4 per cent to QAR1.8 billion on revenue flat at QAR24.2 billion).
Ooredoo ended the period with 133 million customers, a 16 per cent increase year-on-year.
In a statement, Ooredoo said eight of its 10 operating markets now have 4G networks, with the company being the first to launch 4G in Myanmar and rollouts having begun in Algeria.
For the nine month period, data revenue represented 39 per cent of group revenue, compared with 35 per cent last year.
Ooredoo has some challenging markets among its portfolio. Its Asiacell business in Iraq is “still affected by the political and economic situation in the country, a dysfunctional banking system and VAT impact”.
And in Tunisia, the economy remains subdued and affected by lower levels of tourism.