Ooredoo Group said revenue for the first quarter ended 31 March increased by 1 percent to QAR 7.3 billion from QAR 7.19 billion in Q1 2019, supported by robust growth in Indonesia, Tunisia, Myanmar and other markets.
That growth was partially offset by a Covid-19 impact, lower handset sales, and macroeconomic weakness in some of other markets. EBITDA declined by 5 percent year-on-year to QAR 3.02 billion from QAR 3.73 billion, hit by measures to contain the spread of Covid-19 in many territories as well as challenging market conditions in Algeria, Kuwait and Oman.
Net profit declined by 8 percent to QAR 387 million from QAR 420 million in 2019, due to the reduction in EBITDA, which was partially offset by a more favorable foreign exchange environment than in the same period of 2019. Data revenues accounted for more than 50 percent of total revenue, driven by digital transformation initiatives across the countries where Ooredoo operates.
The customer base increased by 6 percent to 118 million from 116 million in 2019.
Ooredoo Oman's revenues for the first quarter were QAR 638 million, down by almost 2 percent compared with QAR 650 million in Q1 2019. The revenue reduction was partially offset by fixed line revenues, which continued to deliver double-digit growth for the first quarter of the year.
EBITDA for Q1 2020 was QAR 356 million with a strong EBITDA margin of 56 percent, supported by cost management initiatives across the business including renegotiation of various contracts, which partially offset some of the declines in revenues. In Q1, 15 percent of total revenues was spent in capex, mainly for network upgrades and maintenance, as well as IT transformation.
Ooredoo also made some changes within its leadership team with the appointment of Sheikh Faisal Bin Thani Al Thani as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Ooredoo Group.
Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulla Al Thani was appointed as Deputy Group Chief Executive Officer and Acting Chief Executive Officer of Ooredoo Qatar.
Commenting on the results, Sheikh Faisal Bin Thani Al Thani, Chairman of Ooredoo, said: “The investments we have made and continue to make in our digital transformation have ensured our business continuity and enabled us to provide essential services and uninterrupted connectivity for our customers during these uncertain times.”