Ooredoo profit slumps 89% in Q4

Dylan Bushell-Embling
telecomasia.net

Ooredoo may have experienced strong subscriber growth in emerging markets including Myanmar during 2014, but this growth came at a cost, with the group's net profit falling 17% for the year and 89% during the fourth quarter.

The company reported a net profit for 2014 of 2.58 billion rial ($708.3 million), on 2% lower revenue of 33.85 billion rial.

Ooredoo blamed the decline on the impact of foreign exchange rates at majority-owned Indonesian unit Indosat, start-up costs associated with its new Myanmar operations and one-off customer acquisition costs in Algeria.

Profit for the fourth quarter meanwhile slumped to 55 million rial as revenue stayed flat at 8.37 billion rial.

The company's results show that the operator's focus on increasing smartphone penetration and introducing new bundles and data offers contributed to data revenue gains. The data revenue segment accounted for 25% of total group revenue for FY14.

Spending on establishing the company's Myanmar operations also showed signs of paying off. Ooredoo Myanmar launched services in August, and by the end of calendar 2014 the unit had gained 2.2 million customers, with 80% of these using smartphones.

Ooredoo's Iraqi subsidiary Asiacell secured a 3G license in December and launched 3G services in January.

“Ooredoo made significant progress against its strategy during 2014 despite facing sustained, high levels of competition, adverse currency movements and the current security situation in Iraq,” Ooredoo CEO Dr Nasser Marafih said.

“Data revenue continues to grow and now represents a quarter of Group revenue. The acceleration of our strategy execution during 2014  puts Ooredoo in a good position to generate and capture value for our shareholders and our more than 107 million customers.”

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