Driven mainly by Ooredoo’s two major markets, Qatar and Indonesia, data revenue contributed QR14.2bn, or 47%, of the group’s total revenue in 2018, chairman Sheikh Abdulla bin Mohamed bin Saud al-Thani said last night.
Ooredoo Group earned total revenue of nearly QR29.9bn last year with most of its companies showing “robust performance with growth in data business.”
Addressing the shareholders at the Sheraton Grand Doha last night, Sheikh Abdulla said Ooredoo’s continued support to businesses, SMEs and government was reflected in its B2B revenues, which stood at QR5.2bn in 2018.
“I want to stress that Ooredoo is continuing building strong basis for the network for customers to enjoy; where they can have a better digital experience,” Sheikh Abdulla said.
He said, “Our lead in adopting new technologies was clear across all of our markets, and particularly in Qatar, where we have launched the world’s first 5G commercial network, and we were the first operator to test self-driving 5G connected aerial taxis.
“In Oman, we launched the pre-5G technology through our home broadband programme. While in Algeria, we were the first operator to roll out 4G in 48 regions. In Palestine, we launched 3G in the West Bank for the first time.
“To cope with the structural changes in the global telecoms sector, we have made some important changes in the management of some operating companies and took steps to optimise costs to provide strong returns to our shareholders.”
Sheikh Abdulla stressed “the great role of technology in enabling users to fulfil their potential and utilise new available chances” in emerging and mature markets.
“Digital enablement and transformation are the future of our business, and Ooredoo is committed to supporting and providing technologies that contribute and develop that, based on its stated strategy,” he said.
Ooredoo Group chairman said, “We are working to digitally transform our operations, for that we have launched initiatives to enable them to use their resources more efficiently. We are also digitally transforming our internal procedures, which will allow our companies to consolidate their processes and be more effective in fulfilling their goals.”
Ooredoo posted a net profit of QR1.56bn in 2018, the chairman said and noted that net profits in the fourth quarter improved compared to the same period in 2017, “due to reduced consumption costs and tax.”
Reflecting the increasing confidence in Ooredoo, S&P in December revised its rating from negative to stable, while re-affirming the rating of the company as an issuer at A-2/A-.
This was in line with a general revision of Qatar’s ratings in light of the great flexibility of Qatar’s economy.
The shareholders adopted the Ooredoo board of directors recommendation to distribute 25% (of the nominal share value) dividend for 2018, which translates into QR2.5 per share.
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