Ooredoo group reported 2 percent slump in its revenue for the year ended 31 December 2014 to QAR 33.2 billion from QAR 33.85 billion in 2013, with strong performances in Qatar, Oman and Algeria offset by challenging market conditions in Iraq, Kuwait, Tunisia and Indonesia. Customer numbers increased by 12 percent to reach 107 million, driven by the Indonesian, Iraqi, Kuwaiti, Myanmar and Algerian markets.
Group EBITDA declined to QAR 12.95 billion from QAR 14.64 billion in 2013 and the EBITDA margin decreased to 39 percent from 43 percent, amid continued strategic investments across the business in broadband networks, customer acquisition and retention, brand roll-out, service launches and customer service. Net profit declined to QAR 2.13 billion from QAR 2.58 billion in 2013. The board of directors recommends a cash dividend of 40 percent of the nominal share value.
Aggressive price competition in Iraq, Myanmar start-up costs, Indonesian currency depreciation and the Iraqi security situation, also affected EBITDA and the 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 percent compared with the reported 12 percent reduction. Excluding these three items, net profit for the full year would have decreased by 8 percent and for the fourth quarter 2014 by 22 percent.
Data revenue represented 25 percent of group revenue thanks to Ooredoo’s strategy to increase smartphone penetration, and deliver innovative new bundles and data offers for customers. Ooredoo’s strategy to become a data-centric business made significant progress. Ooredoo has now deployed 4G across five 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.