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Ooredoo loses 1.5m Iraqi customers, profit flat

Ooredoo loses 1.5m Iraqi customers, profit flat

Despite the loss, the company’s global customer base was up 9 per cent.

Qatar’s Ooredoo Group lost 1.5 million customers in Iraq last year and saw its financial performance impacted by currency issues.

Iraqi unit Asiacell’s customer base shrank from 12.3 million to 10.8 million and revenue declined 22 per cent to QAR 4.88m in 2015.

“Shutdowns across Asiacell’s network impacted active subscriber numbers and revenue. However, a number of areas were also liberated throughout the year with Asiacell beginning to see some return of revenue in areas such as Tikrit city,” the company said.

Despite this decline, the company added 9.5 million customers globally last year to reach 117 million.

Net profit attributable to shareholders was flat at QAR 2.118bn from QAR 2.134bn the year before, despite a 551 per cent rise in the fourth quarter following a one-off customer acquisition in 2014.

Ooredoo said its net profit would have increased by 6 per cent excluding the foreign exchange impact.

The group reported a 3 per cent drop in annual revenue from QAR 33.2bn to QAR 32.1bn despite strong growth in local currency terms in Oman, Indonesia, Myanmar, Algeria, Kuwait and the Maldives.

Data revenue, at QAR 12bn, accounted for 37 per cent of its overall revenue last year from 25 per cent in 2014.

“Ooredoo Group’s performance was robust during 2015 as we generated organic revenue growth in local currency terms in Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, Algeria, Indonesia, Myanmar, Palestine and Maldives. This was partially offset by the challenges with the security situation in Iraq, a weakened Tunisian macro-economic environment and currency volatility in emerging markets,” said group chief executive H.E. Sheikh Saud bin Nasser Al Thani.

The company’s board recommended a 30 per cent dividend or QAR 3 per share.

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