Middle Eastern operator Ooredoo pointed to sturdy growth in Indonesia, Tunisia and Myanmar as drivers of a marginal increase in revenue in Q1, but warned of tougher times ahead as the effects of the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic take hold.
Qatar-headquartered Ooredoo stated revenue rose 1 per cent year-on-year to QAR7.3 billion ($2 billion), driven by 16 per cent growth in Tunisia (QAR382 million) and a 7 per cent increase in Indonesia (QAR1.7 billion), with both markets benefitting from increased data traffic.
In Myanmar, 4G investments drove a 43 per cent increase in its customer base to 15.6 million, with revenue up 9 per cent to QAR284 million.
Qatar was the highest revenue generator, albeit flat, contributing QAR1.8 billion.
Net profit slipped 8 per cent to QAR387 million, as a reduction in EBITDA offset favourable forex movements.
The company noted its Q1 performance was hit partially by the pandemic, along with a reduction in handset sales and macroeconomic weakness in some of its markets.
Looking ahead, Ooredoo said as Covid-19 lockdowns continue, it “expects economic weakness in most markets”, but noted it has a healthy cash reserve to absorb the impact for the rest of 2020.
Commenting on the results, chairman Sheikh Faisal Bin Thani Al Thani added: “The world is going through an unprecedented challenge as we all come together to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic. While the telecom sector is defensive and more resilient than others, we do expect to see some negative impact on our operations, similar to other global telecom operators.”Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back