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Wed 29 Jul 2015 07:23 PM

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Qatar's Ooredoo sees Q2 net profit plunge on Iraq, forex

Security situation in Iraq and currency depreciation in Indonesia, Algeria and Tunisia impact telco's results

Qatar's Ooredoo sees Q2 net profit plunge on Iraq, forex

Qatari telecom operator Ooredoo reported a 39 percent fall in second-quarter profit on Wednesday, its sixth decline in eight quarters as foreign exchange losses and plunging earnings from war-torn Iraq outweighed a strong domestic performance.

The former monopoly, which operates in about 13 territories across the Middle East, Africa and Asia, made a net profit of 501 million riyals ($137.6 million) in the three months to June 30, it said in a statement.

This was down from 817 million riyals in the year-earlier period.

Two analysts polled by Reuters had forecast majority state-owned Ooredoo would make a quarterly profit of between 565 million riyals and 592 million riyals.

Second-quarter revenue was 8 billion riyals. This compares with 8.4 billion riyals a year ago.

"The security situation in Iraq and currency depreciation in Indonesia, Algeria and Tunisia continued to impact our results," Ooredoo Chief Executive Nasser Marafih said in the statement.

Half-year profit was 1 billion riyals, down from 1.7 billion riyals in the corresponding period of 2014.

In Qatar, the company's half-year revenue rose 14 percent to 4 billion riyals, while net profit jumped 25 percent to 1.14 billion riyals, but these gains were overshadowed by troubles abroad.

In Iraq, where vast swathes of the country are under the control of militant group Islamic State, Ooredoo unit Asiacell made a half-year profit of 63 million riyals, down 90 percent from a year ago as it took provisions for historic tax claims.

Ooredoo Kuwait - 92.1 percent owned by Ooredoo and with operations in Algeria, Tunisia, the Maldives and the Palestinian Territories - reported a 30 percent drop in second-quarter profit on Sunday.

Ooredoo Oman fared better, as its quarterly profit rose 16 percent, according to last week's bourse filing.

Ooredoo, which launched services in Myanmar in August 2014, had 114.2 million customers at the end of June, up 21 percent in 12 months.

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