By John Lee.
Qatar-based Ooredoo has reported that its Iraqi subsidiary, Asiacell, substantially grew its customers during the year, increasing by 15% to 12.3 million compared to 10.7 million at FY 2013.
In its 2014 Full Year Results, it said Asiacell faced the challenge of the growing security issue in the country during the year, in addition to the heightened levels of competition in the market.
Consequently, revenue for FY 2014 was QAR 6,298 million (FY 2013: QAR 7,071 million), a decrease of 11%; EBITDA was down by 19% to QAR 2,939 million and EBITDA margin was reduced to 47% from 51%. Net Profit stood at QAR 1,031 in 2014 (QAR 1,734 in 2013).
Asiacell continues to operate Iraq's strongest network with the best coverage although continuity of service in some areas was affected during 2014. Strategic initiatives focused on data revenue and the B2B market.
Data initiatives implemented during the year generated strong growth in data revenue in advance of the launch of 3G. Asiacell's B2B customer base increased significantly during the year. The company continued to focus on a number of cost efficiencies. Asiacell monitors the political situation carefully and has a range of contingency plans in place to ensure the continued operation of the business.