Data Revenue Represents 25% of Group Revenue
Board of Directors Recommends a Cash Dividend of 40% of Nominal Share Value
Doha, Qatar, 11 March 2015: Ooredoo Q.S.C. (“Ooredoo”) - Ticker: ORDS.QA today announced results for the year ended 31 December 2014.
- Number of customers increased by 12% to reach 107 million, driven by the Indonesian, Iraqi, Kuwaiti, Myanmar and Algerian markets
- FY 2014 Group revenue down by 2% to QAR 33.2 billion; strong performances in Qatar, Oman and Algeria ; challenging market conditions in Iraq, Kuwait, Tunisia and Indonesia
- EBITDA of QAR 12.9 billion and EBITDA margin of 39% reflect Ooredoo’s continued strategic investment into its broadband networks, global brand roll-out and customer acquisition costs. In addition, aggressive price competition in Iraq, Myanmar start-up costs, Indonesian currency depreciation and the Iraqi security situation also affected EBITDA and EBITDA margin. Excluding the impact of Indonesian Foreign Exchange, Myanmar start-up costs and one-off customer acquisition costs in Algeria, EBITDA would have decreased by 5% compared to the reported 12% reduction. Excluding these three items, Net Profit to Ooredoo shareholders for the FY 2014 would have decreased by 8% and for Q4 2014 by 22%.
- FY 2014 data revenue represented 25% of Group revenue due to Ooredoo’s strategy to increase smart phone penetration, deliver innovative new bundles and data offers for customers
- Group B2B revenue amounted to more than QAR 4.5 billion for FY 2014; B2B customer numbers up 25%
- Ooredoo Myanmar launched commercially in August 2014; by 31 December 2014 it had gained 2.2 million customers. More than 80% of customers are using smart phones, generating strong ARPUs with high data revenue contribution
- Asiacell secured a 3G licence in December 2014 and launched 3G services in January 2015
- Ooredoo global brand now adopted by seven Ooredoo operators: Qatar, Algeria, Maldives, Tunisia, Myanmar, Kuwait and Oman
- Board of Directors recommends a Cash Dividend of 40% of Nominal Share Value.
Commenting on the results, His Excellency Sheikh Abdulla Bin Mohammed Bin Saud Al-Thani, Chairman of Ooredoo said: “Ooredoo is rapidly positioning itself at the heart of the digital future of our customers. Mobile infrastructure is an essential enabler of a country’s economic prosperity, particularly in developing markets. Our financial results for 2014, despite the challenges we have faced in some of our markets, demonstrate how Ooredoo is increasingly playing its role in supporting the economic growth in our markets. Our networks, services and investments into new growth opportunities in Myanmar and next generation networks in Iraq, Qatar and Algeria all demonstrate the transformative power of Ooredoo for our customers and their communities. These investments into new technologies and future business will ultimately benefit our shareholders as well.
On behalf of the Board of Directors, I am pleased to recommend to the General Assembly the distribution of a cash dividend of 40 percent of the nominal share value (QAR 4 per share).”
Also commenting on the results Dr. Nasser Marafih, Group Chief Executive Officer of Ooredoo said: “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. We continue to invest in our infrastructure to target market leadership by offering the best network experience. 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.”
Financial and Strategy Review
As of 31 December 2014, the Group’s consolidated customer base stood at 107 million (FY 2013: 96 million), representing year-on-year growth of 12%. Group revenue for the twelve months 2014 decreased by 2% to QAR 33,207 million (FY 2013: QAR 33,851 million). Group EBITDA stood at QAR 12,948 million (FY 2013: QAR 14,640 million) with EBITDA margin decreased to 39% (FY 2013: 43%) due to the continued strategic investments across the business into broadband networks, customer acquisition and retention, global brand roll-out, service launches and customer experience. Net profit attributable to Ooredoo shareholders for 2014 was QAR 2,134 million (FY 2013: QAR 2,579 million).
Ooredoo’s strategy to become a data-centric business made significant progress following the investment the business has made in its broadband networks, data infrastructure, driving smart phone penetration and creating innovative new bundles and data offers for customers. Group data revenue now represents 25% of group revenue. The growth in data revenue reflects the growing adoption of data-based services, enabled by the pervasiveness of Ooredoo’s ultra-fast broadband networks. Ooredoo now has 4G deployed across five out of its nine markets. Algeria, Iraq, Qatar and Tunisia are all markets where Ooredoo is the market leader in data customer share. Ooredoo is also rolling out service agreements with OTT players to drive and capture a growing share of data revenue in its markets. Ooredoo generated strong revenue growth from its B2B strategy, which targets the communication needs of the businesses in its markets, with more than QAR 4.5 billion of B2B revenues and B2B customers increasing by 25% during the year. Ooredoo invested in technology modernization across its global footprint during the year to enhance its customers’ experience and to create cost synergies.
Ooredoo Qatar delivered strong growth across its network during the year. Revenue grew by 8% to QAR 7,148 million (FY 2013: QAR 6,590 million) and customers grew by 10% to 3.2 million. The growth in revenue was driven by mobile services, broadband, mega-projects and device sales. EBITDA increased by 5% to QAR 3,448 million compared to the previous twelve months. Net profit for FY 2014 increased by 40% to QAR 1,919 million (FY 2013: QAR 1,374 million) due to higher EBITDA and sale of investments.
Ooredoo Qatar continued to pursue an ambitious programme of network enhancement, becoming the first operator in the Group to launch 4G+ in December 2014, offering speeds of up to 225 Mbps, almost double the average 4G speed. In addition, Ooredoo Qatar had more than 200,000 fibre customers by December 2014 and undertook a fibre speed upgrade programme. By offering the biggest, fastest fixed and mobile networks, supported by a diverse range of “smart” prepaid and postpaid services, Ooredoo Qatar is able to meet the nation’s rising demand for data services and protect its market- leading position.
An enhanced focus on business-to-business services also delivered significant returns. The company used its role as the organiser of the ITU Telecom World 2014 conference in Qatar to showcase a new range of “smart services” for local and international organisations, including smart stadium technology, smart health solutions, smart traffic management services and smart city management and network facilities. Given Qatar’s dynamic development programme, Ooredoo is well-positioned to be a leading partner for a wide range of mega-projects and new residential areas in the coming period.
Ooredoo Oman’s programme of network investment continued to deliver strong growth across the business. Revenue growth of 12% for the FY 2014 (QAR 2,231 million) was driven by strong growth of mobile and fixed data revenues, international voice revenue and value added service revenue, offset partially by a decline in SMS revenue. EBITDA also increased by 20% to QAR 1,115 million compared to FY 2013 due to revenue growth and lower cost of sales partially offset by higher operational expenditure. Net profit increased by 5% to QAR 329 million compared to the FY 2013. Total customers grew by 8% to 2.6 million compared to the FY 2013 driven by the demand for broadband and data services offered by Ooredoo Oman’s market-leading broadband network. Ooredoo Oman became the seventh operator to re-brand to Ooredoo’s global brand in Q4 2014.
Ooredoo's customer base in Kuwait was 2.5 million at FY 2014, an increase of 25% over the same period in 2013. Revenues for 2014 were QAR 2,149 million, a decrease of 14% compared to 2013 revenues of QAR 2,500 million. EBITDA was QAR 473 million versus EBITDA for 2013 of QAR 667 million (-29%). Net Profit was QAR 189 million, compared to Net Profit for FY 2013 of QAR 190 million.
Kuwait’s market share increase was driven by a range of new data-based services and bundles, pricing strategies and retail shops, all supported by the appeal of Ooredoo’s global brand. On a quarterly basis, revenue and EBITDA increased compared to Q3 2014, with revenue increasing by 2% to QAR 534 million and EBITDA up by 24% to QAR 132 million as Ooredoo generated growing revenue from an increasing customer base.
Asiacell - Iraq
Asiacell substantially grew its customers during the year, increasing by 15% to 12.3 million compared to 10.7 million at FY 2013. Customers were attracted by Asiacell’s market-leading network coverage and quality following investments made during 2014. Asiacell faced the challenge of the growing security issue in the country during the year, in addition to the heightened levels of competition in the market. Consequently, revenue for FY 2014 was QAR 6,298 million (FY 2013: QAR 7,071 million), a decrease of 11%; EBITDA was down by 19% to QAR 2,939 million and EBITDA margin was reduced to 47% from 51%. Net Profit stood at QAR 1,031 in 2014 (QAR 1,734 in 2013).
Asiacell continues to operate Iraq’s strongest network with the best coverage although continuity of service in some areas was affected during 2014. Strategic initiatives focused on data revenue and the B2B market. Data initiatives implemented during the year generated strong growth in data revenue in advance of the launch of 3G. Asiacell’s B2B customer base increased significantly during the year. The company continued to focus on a number of cost efficiencies. Asiacell monitors the political situation carefully and has a range of contingency plans in place to ensure the continued operation of the business.
Ooredoo’s customer base in Algeria at FY 2014 was 12.2 million customers, an increase of 28% compared to last year. Revenues for 2014 were QAR 4,623 million, an increase of 19% compared with revenues of QAR 3,884 million for 2013. EBITDA for 2014 was QAR 1,481 million, a decrease of 6% on QAR 1,583 million for the previous year. 2014 EBITDA was impacted by customer acquisition investments including handset subsidies to acquire 3G market share. Net Profit in 2014 was impacted by lower EBITDA, FX losses and stood at QAR 228 million compared to a Net Profit of QAR 733 million for 2013.
Ooredoo’s Tunisia customer base at FY 2014 stood at 7.6 million customers, an increase of 3% compared to 2013. Revenues for 2014 were QAR 2,288 million, compared to revenues for 2013 of QAR 2,504 million (decrease of 9%). EBITDA was QAR 1,072 million compared to QAR 1,310 million for the previous year representing a decrease of 18%, which partially resulted from one-off restructuring costs in Tunisia. Net Profit stood at QAR 299 million a decrease of 44% when compared with QAR 538 million for 2013.
Indosat – Indonesia
Indosat’s revenue decreased by 12% to QAR 7,395 million (FY 2013: 8,371 million) due to Foreign Exchange impact. Revenue in local currency was up 1%, driven by the growth in wireless revenues as Indosat launched a range of new data services and bundles. Digital content also delivered strong growth during 2014. EBITDA decreased by 15% to QAR 3,279 million (FY 2013: QAR 3,862 million) due to FX impact, increased costs of sales and operational expenditure. Indosat’s EBITDA margin decreased to 44% compared to 46% for FY2013. In local currency terms EBITDA decreased by 3%. Net loss for the period was QAR (564) million (2013: QAR (850) million), impacted by adverse currency movements as well as a one-off provision for a legal court case (IM2).
Indosat continued to invest in rolling out its broadband network, bringing Ooredoo’s world-leading data-based products and services to a greater percentage of the population.
Indosat completed its network modernisation during the year with U900 activated in the Ex-Java area. Data traffic has shown consistent growth across the modernised areas of the network. Faster networks drove growth of data ARPU across Indosat’s network during the period and supported customer growth from 60 million (FY 2013) to 63 million (FY 2014).
Ooredoo Myanmar generated revenue of QAR 189 million and EBITDA of QAR (357) million. Net loss stood at QAR (531) million, reflecting the continued roll-out in Ooredoo’s newest market.
Ooredoo Myanmar launched its service in August 2014 as the first international operator to begin commercial operations. Within three weeks of launch, Ooredoo had attracted 1 million customers to the country’s first next-generation U900 data network. By the end of 2014, Ooredoo Myanmar had 2.2 million customers, with more than 80% of them using smart phones. Ooredoo’s network covered more than 25 million people by the end of 2014, covering the main cities and half of all townships. Ooredoo customers are consuming growing levels of services, driven by strong customer service and superior network quality. Ooredoo Business Myanmar was also launched in the year to deliver products and services to Myanmar’s burgeoning commercial sector.