Ooredoo announced a sharp drop in Q4 2014 profit, as factors such as price competition and the security situation in Iraq, Myanmar start-up costs and currency issues in Indonesia took their toll.
“We continue to invest in our infrastructure to target market leadership by offering the best network experience,” Nasser Marafih, group CEO (pictured), said in a statement.
The company reported a profit attributable to shareholders of QAR55 million ($15.1 million), down 89 per cent from QAR510 million, on revenue that was essentially flat at QAR8.37 billion.
Excluding the impact of Indonesian foreign exchange movements, Myanmar start-up costs and one-off customer acquisition costs in Algeria, net profit for the quarter would have decreased by 22 per cent.
Its number of group customers increased by 12 per cent to reach 107 million, driven by the Indonesian, Iraqi, Kuwaiti, Myanmar and Algerian markets.
Following its launch in Myanmar in August 2014, by the end of the year it had 2.2 million customers in this market, more than 80 per cent of which are using smartphones, “generating strong ARPUs with high data revenue contribution”.
Twelve month group net profit of QAR2.13 billion was down 17 per cent, on revenue of QAR33.21 billion, down 2 per cent.
It said that full year investments included areas such as broadband networks, customer acquisition and retention, global brand rollout, service launches and customer experience.
For the full year, data revenue represented 25 per cent of group revenue, as part of the company’s strategy to increase smartphone penetration and “deliver innovative new bundles and data offers” for customers.
The company has now deployed 4G across five out of its nine markets.
The Ooredoo brand has now been adopted in seven markets: Qatar, Algeria, Maldives, Tunisia, Myanmar, Kuwait and Oman.