Ooredoo Group posted a net profit of QR1.1bn in 2020, which was down 35% year-on-year mainly due to lower EBITDA and one off gains in 2019 from the Indonesian tower sales. EBITDA declined by 6% year-on-year to QAR 12.1 billion in 2020, impacted by lower revenues and challenging market conditions across most markets.
Revenue declined by registered at 4% year-on-year to QAR 28.9 billion in 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic impact, with a reduction in handset sales and roaming business as well as macroeconomic weakness in some of our markets, partially offset by growth in Indonesia, Myanmar and Palestine.
The Group expanded its customer base by 3% to 121 million customers, boosted by additions in Iraq, Indonesia and Myanmar.
It maintains healthy cash reserves and liquidity levels, and with a net profit of QAR 1.1 billion, the Board has recommended the distribution of a cash dividend of QAR 0.25 per share.
Commenting on the results, HE ¬Sheikh Faisal Bin Thani Al Thani, Chairman of Ooredoo, said, “Ooredoo Group demonstrated the resilience of its operations in 2020, delivering a net profit of QAR 1.1 billion, maintaining healthy cash reserves and liquidity levels, and expanding its customer base despite of the challenging environment. 2020 was a year unlike any other, which disrupted lives and challenged organisations.
Also commenting on the results, Aziz Aluthman Fakhroo, Managing Director of Ooredoo said,
“I am pleased to report a solid financial performance across our operations, in spite of the Covid-19 pandemic and the challenging macro-economic environment. Group revenues were QAR 28.9 billion in 2020, down 4% compared to the previous year, due to macroeconomic weaknesses in some of our markets. Throughout the year, we remained focused on our cost optimisation strategy, which enabled us to maintain a robust EBITDA margin of 42% in 2020. EBITDA during the year was QAR 12.1 billion, down slightly from QAR 12.8 billion in the previous year due to the decline in revenues. Net profit for the year declined to QAR 1.1 billion, mainly due to lower EBITDA and to one off gains from the Indonesian tower sales in 2019.
Operational review: Middle East
Ooredoo Qatar delivered a solid performance in 2020, despite a range of challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Reported revenue stood at QAR 7.0 billion (FY 2019: QAR 7.3 billion), down 3% mainly as a result of the pandemic. EBITDA was QAR 3.7 billion (FY 2019: QAR 4.0 billion), 7% below FY 2019, with an EBITDA margin of 52%. Following service disruption during the period, customers were provided with a 50% discount on mobile bills as compensation, impacting Q4 results. Customer numbers were 3.3 million by year-end in line with 2019, with the mobile customer base growing by 1% and the postpaid base growing by 10% compared to Q4 2019
Ooredoo Oman’s results were impacted by lockdowns and movement restrictions designed to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Revenues declined 7% to QAR 2.5 billion in 2020 compared to the previous year. Consequently, EBITDA for the year declined 10% to QAR 1.3 billion compared to 2019.
Ooredoo Kuwait’s results were impacted by softening macroeconomic conditions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as intense market competition. The company’s revenues declined 10% to QAR 2.5 billion in 2020 compared to the previous year. Sequentially, revenues increased 6% in Q4 2020 compared to the previous quarter, reflecting the initial stages of a recovery.
As a result, EBITDA was down 29% to QAR 617 million in 2020 compared to the previous year. The company remains committed to its cost optimisation program to absorb some of the pressure from the top line
Asiacell (Ooredoo Iraq)
Movement restrictions designed to stem the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic impacted Asiacell’s results, as consumer behaviour shifted and the economic slowdown resulted in reduced spending. The company reported revenues of QAR 4.0 billion in 2020, down 12% compared to the previous year.
Consequently, EBITDA declined 13% to QAR 1.8 billion in 2020 compared to the previous year. However, the company’s cost optimisation initiative supported by its digital transformation strategy, contributed to a healthy EBITDA margin of 44% in 2020.
Asiacell’s customer base increased 4% to 14.7 million in 2020 compared to the previous year, as the company’s digital channels allowed customers to stay connected through the COVID-19 pandemic.