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Qatari telco Ooredoo Q2 profit up 16.4%

Qatari telco Ooredoo Q2 profit up 16.4%

The operator’s profit was boosted by increasing customer numbers across the group

Qatari telecom operator Ooredoo reported a 16.4 per cent gain in second-quarter net profit on Tuesday, boosted by increasing customer numbers across the group and by the performance of its businesses in Asia.

Ooredoo made a net profit of QAR 583.2m in the three months to June 30, compared with a profit of QAR 501.2m in the year-earlier period, it said in a statement.

Analysts at EFG Hermes and SICO Bahrain had forecast Ooredoo would make a quarterly profit of QAR 478.5m and QAR 680.5m respectively.

While the group’s consolidated customer base grew 14 per cent year on year to 130 million, driven by strong growth in Myanmar and Indonesia, group revenue in the second quarter of QAR 8.03bn was flat to the same three months of 2015.

The earnings of the former monopoly, which operates in about a dozen territories across the Middle East, Africa and Asia, have been volatile since mid-2013 as foreign exchange losses and plunging earnings from war-torn Iraq outweighed a strong domestic performance.

The firm did not give quarterly breakdown for its different operations but said first-half net profit, up 46 per cent to QAR 1.46bn, was boosted by growth in Asia and Algeria.

Its operations in Myanmar swung to a net profit of QAR 79m from a net loss of QAR 302m in the opening half of last year, aided by the doubling of its customer base to more than eight million.

The head of Ooredoo’s Myanmar operations told Reuters in January it was investing more in the country and adjusting its strategy towards a more mass market approach after initially focusing on costly, higher-margin data services in a country that remains largely poor.

Indosat Ooredoo, the firm’s Indonesian arm, also swung to a net profit of QAR 188m in the first half of this year, with Ooredoo citing the country’s stabilising currency and higher revenue from voice and data services for the turnaround.

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