(MENAFN - The Peninsula)
Doha: Ooredoo Q.P.S.C. announced yesterday QR14.5bn revenue for the half year ended June 30, 2021, showing an increase of 3 percent compared to the same period last year. The increase was mainly driven by growth in its home market Qatar, Indonesia, and Tunisia. Excluding FX impact, revenue increased by 5 percent.
Group EBITDA for H1 (first half) 2021 was QR6.4bn with a corresponding EBITDA margin of 44 percent, driven by growth in Indonesia, Qatar, Kuwait, Tunisia, and Algeria. The EBITDA growth rate stood at 7 percent and at 10 percent excluding FX impact.
Ooredoo’s consolidated customer base increased by 1 percent due to growth in Indonesia, Oman and Iraq, offsetting the decline in other markets.
Group Net Profit attributable to shareholders turned negative due to impairments (QR2,341m, mainly from Ooredoo Myanmar) partially offset by profit from the sale and leaseback of Indosat Ooredoo’s tower assets (QR1,000m). Excluding these one offs and FX impact, net profit increased by 52 percent.
Commenting on the results, Sheikh Faisal bin Thani Al Thani, Chairman of Ooredoo, said:“We had a good first half of the year, with a revenue increase of 3 percent, as we further progressed our digital strategy, whilst effectively managing our costs and overheads to support the growth of our business across our various markets. Consequently, our EBITDA margin improved to 44 percent, up from 42 percent for H1 2020, despite the challenges presented to us due to COVID-19.”
“Our response to the pandemic and our robust strategy enabled us to report solid operational and financial performance. The confidence of our customers resulted in an increase of our customer base by an additional one percent. We continue to focus on providing reliable connectivity and innovative products to our customers and are proud to be leading in this space.”
Also commenting on the results, Aziz Aluthman Fakhroo, Managing Director of Ooredoo said:“The positive trend in 2021 is even stronger excluding the FX impact with revenue growth of 5 percent and EBITDA growth of 10 percent. Our Net Profit was impacted by an impairment of the operation in Myanmar due to the uncertain political environment. The loss was partially offset by gains from the Indonesian tower sale and leaseback. Excluding these one-offs and the FX impact, Net Profit increased by 52 percent.”
“In Qatar, our home market, we recorded a strong performance with growth in terms of revenue (5 percent) as well as EBITDA (2 percent). Indosat Ooredoo continues to deliver robust results across the board, contributing significantly towards Group growth, with a 14 percent increase in revenue and an improved EBITDA margin of 50 percent,” he said.
He added that cost control and efficiency measures resulted in a 13 percent improvement in EBITDA for Ooredoo Kuwait and 8 percent for Ooredoo Algeria. We recorded 8 percent more customers for Ooredoo Oman and 9 percent more customers for Asiacell, Iraq. Ooredoo Tunisia recorded positive trends for revenue (8 percent), he said.
“Looking ahead, we remain optimistic about Ooredoo Group’s growth potential and we believe that we have made the right investments to continue delivering long term value for our shareholders, customers and countries in which we operate,” he added.
Ooredoo Qatar saw growth during the period. Reported revenue was up 5 percent year-on-year to QR3.7bn, driven by growth in post-paid services, Mobile Financial Services Ooredoo tv, business-to-business revenue and higher sales of devices. EBITDA stood at QR2bn (H1 2020: QR1.9bn). Customer numbers dropped to 3 million, reflecting the changing demographics of Qatar during the period.
Despite the decrease in population and the QR3.5 million financial sanctions that were imposed on the company by the Communications Regulatory Authority, Ooredoo Qatar recorded a very strong performance.
Compared to Q1 2021 Service Revenue grew by 6 percent and Ooredoo ONE 'All-In-One’ Home Service contributed to a 1 percent growth in the Ooredoo tv customer base. The launch of new Post-paid plans bundling OTT contents and ongoing shift towards app-based business delivery enhanced customer convenience and boosted optimisation efforts.
Ooredoo Qatar continued to expand its business offering during the period by strengthening its connectivity portfolio and supplementing it with ICT services. Ooredoo as the lead consortium member launched the TASMU Platform, a partnership with the Ministry of Transport and Communication in conjunction with an international consortium under the patronage of His Excellency the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior. TASMU targets five priority sectors namely transportation, healthcare, logistics, environment, and sports where advanced technology and innovation can be harnessed to provide smart solutions and applications.
Additionally, Ooredoo Qatar attained Dell Platinum Status and won 'Emerging Partner of The Year’ and 'Collaboration Partner of The Year’ awards from Cisco. The company was part of the delegation representing Qatar at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) in June and is optimistic regarding the potential business opportunities created through its participation.
Ooredoo Qatar continues its Digital Transformation Journey, providing customers best Digital Care, Sell and Payments experience. More than 10 percent of Ooredoo Qatar customers decided to buy Online, and more than 70 percent interact with Ooredoo Digitally to manage their payments.
The Communications Regulatory Authority’s Financial Sanctions Committee imposed QR3.5 million to Ooredoo Qatar for violating instructions issued by the CRA. QR2 million were fined due to Ooredoo’s non-compliance with the rules applicable to access the interconnection between licensed Service Providers and QR1.5 million were fined due to Ooredoo’s non-compliance with its obligations to file with the CRA and get the CRA prior approval for tariffs for fixed telecom services.
Ooredoo Oman reported a decrease of 5 percent in revenues due to lower consumer mobile prepaid revenue. However, post-paid revenue continued to grow, driven by the demand to convert prepaid to post-paid, resulting in a revenue of QR1.2bn.
On May 20, Ooredoo Oman announced the appointment of Noor Al Sulaiti as Chief Executive Officer, the first female CEO in one of Ooredoo Group’s key markets.
The COVID-19 pandemic continued to put pressure on Ooredoo Kuwait’s performance during the period. The company reported a slight increase in revenue of QR1.2bn in H1 2021. EBITDA increased 13 percent in H1 2021, supporting an improved EBITDA margin of 29 percent in H1 2021, up from 26 percent compared to the same period last year.
Asiacell reported revenue of QR1.7bn during the first half of 2021, a decrease of 12 percent due to the devaluation of the Iraqi Dinar by 17 percent, and an improved EBITDA margin of 46 percent driven by ongoing cost optimisation initiatives.
Despite partial home confinement measures imposed in Algeria, the main macroeconomic indicators in Algeria started showing early signs of recovery in economic activity especially as the government launched its national vaccination programme. As a result of this recovery, Ooredoo Algeria’s EBITDA showed an 8 percent increase in H1 2021 compared to same period last year.
The company’s focus on efficiency and cost optimisation supported a healthy EBITDA margin of 36 percent in H1 2021.
Ooredoo Tunisia delivered a strong set of results despite effects of COVID-19 pandemic on the economy, with revenue of QR793m in H1 2021, an increase of 8 percent compared to the same period last year.
Indosat Ooredoo reported a strong year on year growth with a 14 percent increase in revenue to QR3.8bn, up from QR3.4bn for the same period last year. Subsequently, the company reported a strong EBITDA growth of 24 percent to QR1.9bn and a 5 percentage point EBITDA margin increase, reflecting improvements in operational efficiencies and top line growth.
The political instability and unrest in Myanmar significantly impacted revenues as data access was restricted, and subsequently Ooredoo Myanmar reported a 16 percent decline in revenue and 9 percent decrease in EBITDA. However, with the easing of restrictions in May and June, data revenue improved, and Ooredoo Myanmar witnessed an increase in its customer base by 400,000 in the second quarter of the year.