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Ooredoo announced its financial results for the first quarter of 2021, showing solidity and resilience despite the pandemic. Excluding foreign exchange (FX) impact, the revenue increased by 1%, EBITDA increased by 9%, and the net profit increased by 120%.

As a result of the company’s quarterly analysis, the consolidated revenue reaches QAR 7.2 billion in Q1 2021. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, excluding FX impact, the revenue increased by 1% and is mainly driven by growth in Qatar and Indonesia.

Moreover, the earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) increased by 9% (excluding FX impact) to QAR 3.2 billion in Q1 2021 as the company maintains its focus on digitalization and cost optimization. In comparison, the EBITDA margin increased to 45% in Q1 2021 from 41% in Q1 2020, supported by EBITDA margin expansion in Indonesia, Kuwait, Iraq, and Myanmar.

On the other hand, Ooredoo’s net Profit attributable to Ooredoo shareholders increased by 120% (excluding the FX impact) to QAR 193 million in Q1 2021. Overall, data revenues account for more than 55% of total revenue driven by data leadership and digital transformation initiatives across the Group’s operations.

Commenting on the results, HE Sheikh Faisal Bin Thani Al Thani, Chairman of Ooredoo, said:

“Ooredoo Group delivered a robust set of results during the first quarter of 2021 despite challenging market conditions across many of our territories. We remained focused on our digital transformation agenda which has enabled us to create value for our customers by offering a seamless and convenient user experience as well as optimize our cost base by streamlining and automating processes. Consequently, our EBITDA margin improved to 45% in Q1 2021 compared to 41% for the same period last year.

We made good progress with our strategy to move to a more efficient and flexible asset-light model with the successful sale and leaseback agreement valued at USD 750 million for more than 4,200 of our telecom towers in Indonesia to Edge Point Indonesia. Monetizing these assets forms an integral part of our group strategy to create value for both our shareholders and customers.

During the quarter Ooredoo Group successfully priced its USD one billion bond issuance, reflecting the market’s confidence in the strength and stability of our balance sheet as well as our strategy to deliver new and innovative solutions to our customers by leveraging our world-class technology and infrastructure.”

Middle East Operational Review

Ooredoo Qatar saw positive growth during the period, with reported revenue growing 0.6% year-on-year to QAR 1.8 billion while EBITDA stood at QAR 962 million. Accordingly, the EBITDA margin remained stable at 54% and total customer numbers were 3 million.

Ooredoo Oman’s performance was affected by economic conditions, increasing competition in the prepaid segment, and the COVID-19 impact. Its revenue sits at QAR 610 million in Q1 2021, with an EBITDA of 12% to QAR 314 million. Nevertheless, the company remains committed to managing its overall cost structure. Its customer base increased by 2% of 2.9 million in Q1 2021 as the company prepares to launch 5G mobile services in Q2 2021.

For Ooredoo Kuwait’s performance, the company’s revenue is QAR 607 million in Q1 2021, recording a 2% increase in EBITDA to QAR 169 million. Compared to the same period in the previous year, the EBITDA margin surged to 28% in Q1 2021 from 25%.

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