Middle Eastern operator Ooredoo has reported a 44% rise in net profit for the three months ending June 2013, to QAR923 million ($253 million), with earnings boosted by a rise in revenue and gains from overseas interests.
The Qatari operator – formerly known as Qtel – saw revenues grow by 4.2% over the period, to QAR8.7 billion, fuelled by a strong performance in its domestic market as well as in the important markets of Algeria, Indonesia and Iraq.
The operator continued to make progress on adding new customers and boasted a total of 92 million subscribers at the end of June 2013, up from 83.7 million in June 2012.
Facing a slowdown in its more developed home market, Ooredoo (Doha, Qatar) has been looking for opportunities to grow overseas and recently won one of two landmark foreign operator licenses in Myanmar.
“We stand ready to enter our newest market, Myanmar, following the award of the license there last month,” said Abdullah Bin Mohammed Bin Saud Al-Thani, Ooredoo’s chairman. “Our aim – as in each of the markets across our footprint – is to offer our customers a world-class next-generation network as a trusted partner and provider of choice.”
Nevertheless, Ooredoo also recently gave up on efforts to acquire Vivendi’s (Paris, France) 53% stake in Maroc Telecom (Rabat, Morocco), saying “the lengthy process no longer aligned with the best interests of the group”, leaving regional rival Etisalat (Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates) in exclusive talks with the French media conglomerate.
Meanwhile, in Qatar, Ooredoo launched the country’s first 4G network in April this year and is hoping to generate increased revenues from customers prepared to spend heavily on high-speed mobile data services.
“We take a targeted, sensible and strategic approach to acquisitions, pursuing only those that serve the best interests of the Group and that generate value from the investments we make,” said Nasser Marafih, Ooredoo’s chief executive. “We look to the second half of the year with confidence that our growth momentum will continue.”