As part of its results statement for the twelve months to 31st December 2015, Qatar-based Ooredoo gave the following update for its Asiacell mobile telecom operation in Iraq:
"Asiacell was impacted by the security situation in Iraq and aggressive pricing competition in the first half of the year. Consequently, revenue was down 22% to QAR 4,884 million in 2015 from QAR 6,298 million in 2014.
"Its customer base was 10.8 million, down from 12.3 million in 2014. EBITDA decreased to QAR 2,136 million in 2015 from QAR 2,939 million in 2014. Net Profit stood at QAR 159 million in 2015 (QAR 1,031 million in 2014) due to lower EBITDA and higher depreciation and amortization expenses on the back of 3G investments.#
"Shutdowns across Asiacell's network impacted active subscriber numbers and revenue. However, a number of areas were also liberated throughout the year with Asiacell beginning to see some return of revenue in areas such as Tikrit city.
"The aggressive pricing competition characterizing the first half of the year alleviated in the second half of the year and Asiacell successfully launched a series of regional pricing initiatives. In Q4 2015, Asiacell began to increase its customer base with a 2% improvement compared to Q3 2015.
"Asiacell obtained its 3G license in 2014 and started 3G services from 1 January 2015. As a result, the company achieved double-digit growth in data revenues in 2015 compared to 2014."
(Picture: Sheikh Saud Bin Nasser Al Thani, Group CEO, Ooredoo)