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Vodafone Qatar cuts low-margin services

  • Operator made net loss of QAR64 million in the 3 months to September 30
  • Company has not yet made a quarterly net profit since 2009
  • Despite this, its post-pay customer base jumped 27.9 per cent year on year


Vodafone Qatar reported a narrowing second-quarter loss on Tuesday, halting a run of disappointing earnings performances as the affiliate of Vodafone Group cut low-earning services.

The operator made a net loss of QAR64 million ($17.6m) in the three months to September 30, according to a bourse filing.

That compares with a loss of 113.6m riyals in the prior-year period and the forecast of a QAR94m loss from Arqaam Capital.


No gains yet

Vodafone Qatar, which uses a financial year starting on April 1, has yet to make a quarterly net profit since ending state-controlled Ooredoo’s domestic monopoly in 2009.

The firm’s losses had widened in the six quarters to March 31, 2016, as Ooredoo slashed prices and fought hard to bolster its revenue share.

Vodafone Qatar arrested this trend with a flat net loss in the first quarter. The operator confirmed in July that it had reduced headcount by ten per cent in May, with some job cuts permanent and other positions to be reassigned to roles aimed at boosting mobile revenue streams.

The company has “ceased activities and selling products which generated little or no margin”, Chief Executive Ian Gray said in a statement.

Along with a reduction in regulated telecom rates on which it did not elaborate, this contributed to a decrease of 5.4 percent in quarterly revenue to QAR499m, while the operator’s customer base shrank 1.9 percent year-on-year to stand at 1.46m, as it disconnected nearly 85,000 lines.

Despite this, its post-pay customer base – traditionally people with higher incomes – jumped 27.9 percent year on year.

The company made a half-year net loss of 163.5m riyals compared with a 213.5 riyals loss in the year-ago period.