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Qatar’s Ooredoo Q4 Net Profit Slumps On Foreign Units

Qatar’s Ooredoo Q4 Net Profit Slumps On Foreign Units

The company attributed the slump in profit to foreign exchange losses in Indonesia and higher costs in its Myanmar and Algerian business.

Qatari telecom operator Ooredoo reported an 89 per cent slump in fourth-quarter net profit on Tuesday, widely missing estimates as it was hit by foreign exchange losses in Indonesia and higher costs in its Myanmar and Algerian business.

The majority state-owned company has now posted declining profits in four of the previous six quarters, impacted by issues at its foreign units, notably in Iraq, where many areas of the country have faced significant security issues related to the emergence of Islamic State.

Qatar’s former monopoly, which operates in about 15 countries across the Middle East, Africa and Asia, said in a statement it made a net profit of QAR55 million ($15.1 million) in the three months to Dec. 31.

That was down from QAR510 million ($135.99 million) in the year-earlier period and well below the views of two analysts polled by Reuters, who forecast a quarterly profit of QAR 602.4 million and QAR607.8 million, respectively.

Without the impact of foreign exchange losses in Indonesia, start-up costs in Myanmar and one-off investment costs in Algeria, Ooredoo said its quarterly net profit drop would have been 22 per cent lower.

Its overall revenue for the final three months of 2014 was flat at QAR8.37 billion.

Some of Ooredoo’s difficulties in the fourth quarter had already been trailed, after its Kuwaiti business, under which its Algerian operations fall, said last month that all profit for the final quarter of 2014 had been wiped out.

The group’s fourth-quarter numbers also dragged down its full-year earnings, which slipped 17 per cent year on year to QAR2.13 billion, having been flat to 2013 after nine months.

The operator kept its dividend payout in line with the previous year, according to Thomson Reuters data. Ooredoo will pay out QAR4 per share for 2014, the statement said.

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