Ooredoo (formerly known as Qtel Group), a leading telecom company with a presence across the Mena region, has announced plans to distribute a cash dividend of 50 per cent of the nominal share value (QR 5 per share) to its shareholders.
Announcing this at the AGM today (April 1), chairman Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammed Bin Saud Al-Thani said: “2012 was a remarkable year for the company. We delivered the strongest results in company history. As we take our company to the next level, we will be able to leverage our combined resources to even better serve our customers and deliver to our shareholders.”
In a key move in the company’s history, the AGM also gave their approval for the change of the company name from Qatar Telecom to Ooredoo, which has a market capitalisation of QR33.31 billion ($9.14 billion).
Addressing the board members, Sheikh Abdullah spoke of the remarkable achievements of the company in 2012 and said it will continue to provide the highest level of service to the people of Qatar now and in the future.
He explained how Ooredoo has laid the foundations to transform into a community-based global brand throughout 2013 and 2014, to promote human growth and enrich customers’ lives.
According to him, Ooredoo continues to be one of the fastest-growing communications companies in the world by revenue, thanks to diversification and ongoing growth in mobile data and broadband services.
Ooredoo’s revenue increased by 6.2 per cent from QR31.8 billion in 2011 to QR33.7 billion, with more revenue coming from mobile data and business communication services.
In total, 81.6 per cent of Ooredoo’s revenue now comes from outside of Qatar, with healthy increases in revenue from operating companies in Iraq, Algeria, Qatar and Indonesia supporting a record-setting performance in its home nation.
The group’s net profit attributable to shareholders also grew from QR2.6 billion to QR2.9 billion during the same time period, said Sheikh Abdullah.
Meanwhile, Ooredoo’s Ebitda increased by 5.1 per cent from QR14.8 billion to QR15.5 billion, with Ebitda margin posting a solid 46 per cent, he added.
Reaching more customers than ever before, Ooredoo’s consolidated customer base grew from 83.4 million by the end of 2011 to 92.9 million by the end of 2012.
Ooredoo also continued to invest in key operations, increasing ownership in Kuwait’s Wataniya and its operations from 52.5 to 92.1 per cent, and Wataniya and Ooredoo’s stake in Tunisia’s Tunisiana was increasing from 75 to 90 per cent.
The Qatar-based group also increased its stake in Iraq’s Asiacell from 30 to 64.1 per cent, as of 4 February 2013. In addition, Asiacell’s IPO in February 2013 was successfully completed.
Sheikh Abdullah said the company also saw strong response to its life-enhancing services that have been making a difference every day.
“Ooredoo provides small businesses in Qatar with cutting-edge Cloud solutions, empowers women in Iraq with special tailored-services, and enables customers to send money using their mobile phones in Qatar and Tunisia.”
“In Qatar, Ooredoo has continued to deliver leading products and services, with more than 36,000 customers for the Ooredoo Fibre home broadband network and 131,000 homes passed for later activation, by the end of 2012,” he stated.
“Last year was an undoubted step forward for Ooredoo. However, our aim is always the future. We look forward to an even stronger performance in 2013,” he added.