Board members attend general assembly meeting

KUWAIT: Ooredoo Kuwait, a member of the international Ooredoo Group, has presented its achievements and financial results for 2016 during its annual general meeting and extraordinary general meeting, which were held at the company's headquarters in Kuwait City yesterday. The meeting was attended by the company's Chairman, Sheikh Saud bin Nasser Al Thani, board members and General Manager and CEO, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulla Al Thani and witnessed an attendance of 93.33% of the shareholders. The Chairman of the Board of Directors declared that the Board agreed to distribute cash dividends to the Company Shareholders valued 85% of the nominal value of share, which is equivalent to 85 Fils.

In a statement made to the press, the Chairman of the board Sheikh Saud bin Nasser Al Thani reiterated that success of Ooredoo in the past year, noting that the company fared well despite challenge sin the market. He said:  "During the year 2016, Ooredoo consolidated its leading position across key markets, with customer base increasing 6% to reach more than 25 million. Ooredoo maintained a stable EBITDA of KWD  240 million for the year ended 2016.In a highly competitive market, Ooredoo Kuwait cemented its position as a leading ICT company  with the acquisition of FASTtelco, a Kuwait based ISP, through which it can expand its offer of advanced fixed broadband and mobile services." He added: "Ooredoo Kuwait delivered a 5% increase in Revenues and maintained a healthy EBITDA of KWD 51 million. A significant development for the year, Ooredoo Kuwait deployed more LTE sites and by the end of 2016 it had successfully covered the entire populated area of Kuwait."

Successful marketing strategies

Meanwhile, Ooredoo's CEO and General Manager expressed his pride in the company's performance in the past year, saying: "We acquired FASTtelco in 2016, an internet service provider with a comprehensive portfolio of offerings to the market in different segments. We have also launched a data center offering a variety of cloud-based services for customers. This aims to be a one-stop shop for customers from all sectors."

In Algeria, the 6% growth in customer base was supported by successful marketing strategies, network upgrades and deployments. With the launch of 4G and continued expansion of the 3G network, Ooredoo Algeria covered a vast majority of the population by the end of the year. Due to continued currency depreciation and challenges associated with the slowdown of tourism, Ooredoo Tunisia saw a slight decrease in Revenue.

Despite these challenges, Ooredoo maintained its market leadership and grew its customer base by 6% to 8 million at the end of 2016.In local currency terms Revenue actually increased by 4% year on year. Ooredoo Maldives increased Revenues by 33% to reach KWD 32 million and showed significant growth in profitability, EBITDA increased 56% to KWD 17 million in 2016. Ooredoo Maldives is well positioned to continue delivering growth as it is preparing for the public listing in 2017 on the local stock exchange. Wataniya Palestine also strengthened its market position, growing customer numbers by 10% number serving now more than three quarters of a million customers. Wataniya Palestine maintained profitability and delivered Revenues of KWD 25 million for the year ended 2016.