Ooredoo Q1 profit dragged down by Iraq, exchange rates

Ooredoo Q1 profit dragged down by Iraq, exchange rates

30 APR 2015

Ooredoo’s Q1 net profit, year-on-year, plummeted 43 per cent, to QAR501 million ($138 million), as a combination of tough trading conditions in Iraq and unfavourable currency swings took their toll.

Net profit in Iraq fell from QAR304 million (Q1 2014) to QAR49 million, on revenue that dropped 22 per cent, to QAR1.26 billion, over the same period. The Qatari operator blamed growing security challenges and heightened levels of competition.

Ooredoo also suffered a QAR154 million ($42 million) loss in Myanmar, reflecting continued rollout in the operator’s newest market. Launching services in August 2014, Ooredoo had 3.3 million customers in Myanmar by the end of March.

Strip out adverse currency fluctuations, however, which were keenly felt at Ooredoo’s operations in North Africa and Indonesia, and Q1 net profit – at a group level – would have fallen by a less alarming 4 per cent.

Consolidated revenue was down 1 per cent, to a shade over QAR8 billion. Ooredoo flagged strong performances in Qatar, Oman, Maldives and Myanmar as factors in helping Ooredoo stabilise the top line. And without the negative currency impact, group sales would have increased by 3 per cent.

Nasser Marafih, CEO, highlighted data revenue, which now accounts for 30 per cent of total group sales. Ooredoo has deployed 4G across five out of its nine markets, with Ooredoo Kuwait launching ‘4G+’ in March.

“The first quarter of 2015 reflects the successful execution of our data-centric strategy,” said Marafih. “Customers have grown by 14 per cent, to 111 million, and revenue continues to be driven by the appeal of our ultra-fast broadband networks as our customers increasingly demand fast and easy access to digital content, services and information.”

Domestic strength
Unaffected by currency turbulence abroad, Ooredoo delivered another strong performance at home.

Qatar revenue was up 16 per cent, to QAR1.99 billion (Q1 2014: QAR1.7 billion), and customers grew by 12 per cent, to 3.3 million. Net profit jumped by 88 per cent, to QAR616 million, helped by higher EBITDA and sale of investments.

The operator highlighted B2B services in its home market, including the launch of enhanced cloud security offerings, a mobility software-as-a-service analytics solution, and smart traffic management services.


Ken Wieland

Ken has been part of the MWC Mobile World Daily editorial team for the last three years, and is now contributing regularly to Mobile World Live. He has been a telecoms journalist for over 15 years, which includes eight...More

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