Operator group Veon talked up revenue growth in Q3 2017, thanks to its operations in Russia, Pakistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.
Total revenue was $2.5 billion, a 4 per cent increase year-on-year. Mobile and fixed service revenue of $2.4 billion was up 3.6 per cent.
Amsterdam-based Veon, formerly known as VimpelCom, saw net profit from continuing operations rise to $151 million from $72 million a year ago.
Profit attributable to shareholders of $125 million was down from $445 million, following the combination of Veon’s Wind with 3 Italy.
Its new Italian joint venture with CK Hutchison, Wind Tre, booked a net loss of $608 million, of which $304 million was attributable to Veon, although various financial adjustments reduced this loss to $60 million.
CEO Jean-Yves Charlier (pictured) said in a statememnt that Wind Tre “completed the full refinancing of its debt, optimising its capital structure, reducing annualised interest costs and improving maturities. This transaction was the largest high yield transaction of a European issuer since 2014.”
In an interview with Reuters he said “In Italy, we are in the middle of implementing our synergies and merging these two companies. You would expect to see some significant restructuring charges… We are progressing as expected, if not better, in terms of the merger and those synergies.”
This week Veon submitted a mandatory tender offer for the 42.1 per cent of Global Telecom Holding it does not own, subject to approval from the Egyptian authorities.
Charlier added the group is focused on “implementing our strategy to revitalise and reinvent our business”, which included launching the Veon app in five markets. He said the app was downloaded 5.3 million times since it was introduced last year, and will be coming to its remaining markets in 2018.
The app, designed to compete with platforms including WhatsApp and Viber, lets users message contacts, make private and group calls, as well as share media and their location, while also being able to manage their mobile plan, check credit and top up.
“We are starting to see real customer traction in these new services,” he told Reuters.