Oore­doo counts over 8 mil­lion users

The Myanmar Times - - Front Page - CLARE HAM­MOND c.ham­mond@mm­times.com

The Qatar-based telco signed up 1.1 mil­lion users in Myan­mar in the sec­ond quar­ter of 2016 after be­com­ing the first op­er­a­tor to launch fourth­gen­er­a­tion ser­vices.

OORE­DOO has racked up more than 8 mil­lion users in Myan­mar ac­cord­ing to the com­pany’s sec­ond-quar­ter re­sults – a 1.1 mil­lion in­crease on the pre­vi­ous quar­ter.

The Qatar-based telco said it had dou­bled its cus­tomer base in Myan­mar by 108 per­cent year-on-year and re­ported that its data net­work now cov­ers more than 85pc of the pop­u­la­tion.

In an an­nounce­ment to in­vestors, Oore­doo said it “con­tin­ues to be the data leader in its mar­kets”, in­clud­ing Myan­mar and Al­ge­ria. The telco made his­tory in May when it be­came the first op­er­a­tor to launch fourth-gen­er­a­tion ser­vices in Myan­mar’s three largest ci­ties.

CEO Rene Meza said at a launch event on May 20 that the 4G net­work will cover one-half of Yan­gon’s town­ships, all of Man­dalay and about 90 per­cent of Nay Pyi Taw. The com­pany now counts around 200,000 4G sub­scribers across its user base.

For the first half of 2016, rev­enue growth was 41pc to 717 mil­lion Qatari riyals (US$196.9 mil­lion) from 510 mil­lion riyals in the first half of 2015, driven by growth in the data busi­ness.

Oore­doo’s net profit in Myan­mar was 79 mil­lion riyals over the pe­riod com­pared to a net loss of 302 mil­lion riyals in the open­ing half of last year. Earn­ings be­fore in­ter­est, tax, de­pre­ci­a­tion and amor­ti­za­tion, or EBITDA, were neg­a­tive 3 mil­lion riyals, up from neg­a­tive EBITDA of 18 mil­lion riyals this time last year.

The com­pany noted that the kyat’s in­crease in value against the dol­lar in the first half had helped boost earn­ings. The kyat ap­pre­ci­ated by 10.7pc to the dol­lar in the first six months of the year, ac­cord­ing to Cen­tral Bank data.

De­spite healthy growth, Oore­doo’s per­for­mance has lagged that of in­ter­na­tional ri­val Te­lenor, which re­ported a sub­scriber base of 16.9 mil­lion cus­tomers in its Q2 re­sults last week.

The Nor­we­gian op­er­a­tor, which won its li­cence at the same time as Oore­doo, added 1.4 mil­lion new sub­scribers over the three months to June – a slower growth in cus­tomers than it has seen in the past.

In an an­nounce­ment last week, Te­lenor CEO Sigve Brekke at­trib­uted the slow­down to grow­ing com­pe­ti­tion.

“We see quite ag­gres­sive of­fers now from both our com­peti­tors on on-net traf­fic,” he said. “We are re­spond­ing to that.”

Te­lenor and Oore­doo share the mar­ket with state-owned Myanma Posts and Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions.

A fourth op­er­a­tor, likely to be run by Viet­nam’s Vi­et­tel in co­op­er­a­tion with a Myan­mar gov­ern­ment stake­holder and a lo­cal con­sor­tium, is still at the ne­go­ti­at­ing ta­ble and yet to re­ceive a li­cence.

Photo: Aung Htay Hlaing

Work­ers hoist an Oore­doo sign on to a store­front.

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