Meeting Approves Distribution of Dividend of QAR 0.25 Per Share
Ooredoo held its Annual General Meeting today, where shareholders discussed and approved the company’s Corporate Governance Report and financial statements, following confirmation of final year results for 2019.
During the meeting, shareholders approved the recommendation of the Board Of Directors to distribute a cash dividend of QAR 0.25 per share.
In his address to the meeting, H.E. Sheikh Abdulla Bin Mohammed Bin Saud Al-Thani, Chairman of Ooredoo, credited the Group’s considerable progress in the digitalisation of services as a key driver of success in 2019.
H.E. Sheikh Abdulla underscored Ooredoo’s continued commitment to building a better digital future for its customers.
“It is evident all our markets have strong demand for data services, and our ongoing commitment to enhancing people’s digital lives with our superior technology and innovation has delivered impressive results for 2019. The significance of data revenue now representing 50% of Group revenue is a clear indication that our strategy of digitalisation continues to be appropriate and effective. Our progress has enabled us to consolidate our position within the global telecommunications market, and we look forward to continuing this progress in 2020,” he said.
Full-year revenues stood at QAR 29.9 billion, bolstered by strong performances in Qatar, Kuwait, Tunisia and Indonesia. Significantly, data revenues represented more than 50% of Group revenues for the first time, a key milestone reflecting the Group’s success in evolving its digital offering for consumers and businesses.
Group EBITDA increased by 5% year-on-year to QAR 12.8 billion, with a corresponding EBITDA margin of 43%, both supported by efficiency programmes and the positive impact of the new IFRS 16 accounting standard. Group Net Profit attributable to Ooredoo shareholders increased by 10% to QAR 1.7 billion.
The Group’s customer base rose by 2% to 117 million by year-end, driven by increase in new customers in Indonesia, Myanmar and Kuwait.
During 2019, the Group saw significant progress in the execution of its ambitious digital transformation strategy, bringing its core user experience online. Investments in its state-of-the-art networks continued, aimed at supporting the next generation of digital services in each of its markets.
Operational highlights included the live commercial launch of 5G networks in Kuwait, and successful 5G testing in Oman, with excellent 4G expansion progress in emerging markets. A key moment for the Group was the provision of network foundations for one of the largest sporting events in the region – the IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019 – where Ooredoo Qatar was able to demonstrate the phenomenal capability and potential of its network.
One of the most impactful examples of asset portfolio management was Indosat Ooredoo’s Sale and Leaseback Agreements for a batch of 3,100 of its telecommunications towers, unlocking the value of a portion of its tower portfolio which in turn supported further investment.
Ooredoo also continued to be a pioneer in emerging markets, becoming the first company in Algeria to offer 4G services to all 48 provinces, building the fastest mobile network in Myanmar, reconnecting services to the liberated areas in Iraq and achieving the widest 3G coverage in the country, and capturing a strong 4G market leadership position in Tunisia.
Reflecting confidence in the Group’s commitment to capital discipline, well-respected agencies including Moody’s Investor Service, Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services and Fitch Ratings continued to assign strong credit profiles to Ooredoo Group throughout 2019.
During the company’s AGM, the following items were reviewed:
- The Board’s report for the year ended 31 December 2019 was heard and approved, and business plans for 2020 and beyond were discussed.
- The Corporate Governance Report for 2019 was discussed.
- The External Auditor’s Report for the year ended 31 December 2019 was heard.
- The company’s financial statements for the year ended 31 December 2019 were discussed and approved.
- The Compliance report of the QFMA Corporate Governance and Internal Control over Financials Reporting report for the year ended 31 December 2019 was discussed and approved.
- The Board of Directors’ recommendations for the distribution of dividends were discussed and approved.
- Members of the Board were discharged from their liabilities and their remuneration for the year ended 31 December 2019 was determined.
- The external auditor for the year 2020 was appointed and its fee determined.
Ooredoo is Qatar’s leading communications company, delivering mobile, fixed, broadband internet and corporate managed services tailored to the needs of consumers and businesses. As a community-focused company, Ooredoo is guided by its vision of enriching people’s lives and its belief that it can stimulate human growth by leveraging communications to help people achieve their full potential.