Qatar telecom operator Ooredoo reported a 44% year-on-year surge in net profit in the second quarter, surpassing analysts' expectations on revenue increases from Iraqi and Indonesian operations.
In a poll conducted by Reuters, analysts predicted Q2 earnings of QR845.31m ($232.18), but the telco brought in net profit of QR923m in the quarter, up from QR641m in Q2 2012. The company also reported second-quarter revenue as QR8.7bn, compared with QR8.3bn a year ago, a 4.8% increase.
Ooredoo, which rebranded earlier this year from QTel, now operates in 16 markets in MEA and wider Asia and reported a 10% year-on-year increase in its customer base. In Indonesia, revenue for the first half of the year was up 6.8%, year on year, to QR4.38bn, while operations in Iraq yielded a 5.3% increase in H1 from the same period a year earlier.
Earlier this month Ooredoo's Kuwaiti affiliate Wataniya posted a 20% rise in Q2 profit, halting five consecutive quarters of sliding earnings.
Ooredoo has spent around $3.9bn in the past 18 months, upping stakes in foreign subsidiaries. It now has a majority stake in Iraq's Asiacell and Tunisia's Tunisiana, and owns more than 90% of Wataniya. It also won a licence in June to operate in Myanmar and plans to invest $15bn there.
In June the company also announced its withdrawal from the race to buy French conglomerate Vivendi's 53% stake in Maroc Telecom. UAE's Etisalat is now uncontested and appears set to buy the stake for $5.6bn.