Ooredoo Kuwait has released its group annual earnings report for 2017, posting consolidated net profit of KWD39.5 million (USD131.4 million) compared with KWD46.7 million in 2016, attributing the drop to foreign exchange impact. The Kuwaiti company – a subsidiary of Qatari-based Ooredoo Group – reported that its annual revenues across five markets – Kuwait, Tunisia, Algeria, Palestinian Territories and the Maldives – decreased by 1% year-on-year to KWD697.6 million, impacted by 11% depreciation of the Tunisian Dinar and 1% depreciation in the Algerian Dinar, with revenues excluding forex effects increasing by 1%. EBITDA rose by 6% in 2017 to KWD255.6 million, whilst the consolidated customer base increased by 4% year-on-year to reach 26.3 million.
Subscribers grew in 2017 at Ooredoo Tunisia (up 5% to 8.4 million), Ooredoo Algeria (up 4% to 14.3 million), Wataniya Palestine (up 31% to 1.0 million) and the Maldives (up 11% to 440,000). Ooredoo’s customer base in Kuwait fell 6% in the year to 2.2 million due to ‘intense competition and the overall market condition’, although Kuwaiti-only revenues rose 13% in FY 2017 to KWD222.7 million, whilst Kuwaiti EBITDA was KWD54.3 million, up from KWD 51.0 million in 2016.
Other highlights of the year included enhanced 4G network launches/upgrades in Kuwait, Algeria, Tunisia and the Maldives, and the official launch of mobile operations in Gaza by Wataniya Palestine (which followed this up in January 2018 with the launch of 3G services in the West Bank).