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Qatar’s Ooredoo Q2 net profit falls 39% on Iraq, forex

Qatar’s Ooredoo Q2 net profit falls 39% on Iraq, forex

The telecom operator’s profit drop marks the sixth decline in eight quarters

Qatari telecom operator Ooredoo reported a 39 per cent fall in second-quarter profit on Wednesday, its sixth decline in eight quarters as foreign exchange losses and plunging earnings from war-torn Iraq outweighed a strong domestic performance.

The former monopoly, which operates in about 13 territories across the Middle East, Africa and Asia, made a net profit of QAR 501m ($137.6m) in the three months to June 30, it said in a statement.

This was down from QAR 817m in the year-earlier period.

Two analysts polled by Reuters had forecast majority state-owned Ooredoo would make a quarterly profit of between QAR 565m and QAR 592m.

Second-quarter revenue was QAR 8bn. This compares with QAR 8.4bn a year ago.

“The security situation in Iraq and currency depreciation in Indonesia, Algeria and Tunisia continued to impact our results,” Ooredoo chief executive Nasser Marafih said in the statement.

Half-year profit was QAR 1bn, down from QAR 1.7bn in the corresponding period of 2014.

In Qatar, the company’s half-year revenue rose 14 per cent to QAR 4bn, while net profit jumped 25 per cent to QAR 1.14bn, but these gains were overshadowed by troubles abroad.

In Iraq, where vast swathes of the country are under the control of militant group Islamic State of Iraq and Levant, Ooredoo unit Asiacell made a half-year profit of QAR 63m, down 90 per cent from a year ago as it took provisions for historic tax claims.

Ooredoo Kuwait – 92.1 per cent owned by Ooredoo and with operations in Algeria, Tunisia, the Maldives and the Palestinian Territories – reported a 30 per cent drop in second-quarter profit on Sunday.

Ooredoo Oman fared better, as its quarterly profit rose 16 per cent, according to last week’s bourse filing.

Ooredoo, which launched services in Myanmar in August 2014, had 114.2 million customers at the end of June, up 21 per cent in 12 months.

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