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Vodafone Qatar Releases Half-Year Financial Results

11 November 2010: Today Vodafone Qatar Q.S.C. ("Vodafone Qatar" or "The Company") announced its financial results for the six months ended 30 September 2010.

Vodafone Qatar's key financial achievements are as follows:

  • 601,000 Customers at 30 September, an increase of 12% over the quarter
  • 37% population share as of 30 September; 37% of the population of Qatar are now connected to Vodafone
  • 22% Mobile Customer Market Share as of 30 September
  • 19.5% share of the Mobile Revenue Market for the September quarter
  • Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) increased 7% to QAR 112 for the three months ended 30 September
  • Total Revenue of QAR 385.4 million for the six months ended 30 September; this is a 20% increase compared to the previous six month period ended 31 March 2010
  • Loss before interest, tax and depreciation (EBITDA) for the six months ended 30 September was QAR (31.9) million; this is a significant improvement of 53% compared to EBITDA of QAR (69.2) million for the previous six month period ended 31 March 2010

Vodafone Qatar's customer base grew by over 700 customers per day during the quarter to reach 601,000 by 30 September.  This is a 12% increase in customers over the quarter and now equates to 37% of the population of Qatar using Vodafone.  Much of Vodafone Qatar's success this quarter can be attributed to its exciting offers and promotions including Vodafone World Calling Club which offered customers the chance of winning QR 10,000 each day simply through making international calls. 

"It is fantastic to see the real difference we are making to our customers' lives through this promotion" commented Vodafone Qatar's Chief Marketing Officer Mr. Michael Portz. 

"QR 10,000 makes a world of difference for so many of our customers in Qatar, giving some winners the opportunity to return home to see their children for the first time, buy their first house or start a new business" continued Mr Portz.

Vodafone Qatar initially targeted the labour and service workers in Qatar when it launched its products and services. Recently the Company has started to target other customer segments.  The "Ajeeb" offer with its discount on Star Numbers when connecting to higher value plans and the "Get Together" promotion which has seen a 50% discount on local calling and messaging in Qatar were targeted towards Qatari nationals and Arab expatriates.  The Company intends to continue targeting new customer segments through the launch of innovative features in its Freedom Account plans and specific plans targeted to Businesses.

Over the last six months Vodafone has been completing its network build, focusing on improving quality and capacity.  With 100% 2G coverage across the whole of Qatar, Vodafone has also now deployed the latest available 3G technology; the Company's UMTS 900 network provides 3G coverage to 98% of the population, with continuous 3G coverage from Ras Laffan to Mesaieed.  Furthermore, the Company is bringing forward some of its planned capital expenditure from next year to further enhance the network including increasing its 3G network speeds, providing extra 2G sites and improving indoor coverage.  Vodafone Qatar's network now carries over 5 million outbound minutes per day and on the first Friday of Eid Al-Fitr Vodafone Qatar carried 10 million outbound minutes without any congestion or capacity issues.

Vodafone Qatar recently announced the successful completion of its Vodafone Money Transfer service pilot.   Vodafone Money Transfer is an innovative solution that allows customers the opportunity to send money overseas to friends and family directly from their mobile phone.  The successful completion of the service pilot is an important part of achieving Qatar Central Bank approval prior to commercial launch.  In further innovations, Vodafone Qatar recently announced a first for Qatar and the Vodafone Group when it launched the ability for customers to reload Red prepaid plans directly and securely onto Vodafone Qatar's Facebook page www.facebook.com/vodafoneqatar .

From a financial perspective, loss before interest, tax and depreciation (EBITDA) continues to improve, with EBITDA of QAR (31.9) million for the six months to 30 September 2010 representing an improvement of 53% compared to EBITDA of QAR (69.2) million for the previous six-month period ended 31 March 2010. 

Following the amalgamation of Vodafone Qatar's mobile and fixed businesses, work has begun on delivering fixed line services to Qatar which has resulted in the Company incurring costs earlier than expected.

"Launching our fixed line network at The Pearl has meant a delay in obtaining profitability at the EBITDA level as we continue to build our fixed line customer base whilst incurring fixed costs at launch," said Mr John Tombleson, Vodafone Qatar's Acting Chief Executive Officer. 

Emphasising Vodafone Qatar's support for the Qatar National Broadband Network, Mr Tombleson continued, "we are fully aligned with the Government's objective to provide superfast broadband to 95% of the population of Qatar within five years, and we look forward to working with ictQATAR and Qtel to make this happen".

Total Revenue has increased 20% to QAR 385.4 million for the six months ended 30 September 2010 compared to QAR 322.3 million for the previous six month period ended 31 March 2010.  The September quarter ARPU (Average Revenue per User) of QAR 112 is an increase of 7% from the June quarter where ARPU was reported as QAR 104.

 "We remain on track to deliver our first full quarter of positive EBITDA for the three months ending 31 December 2010" advised Mr Tombleson.  The Company's Loss for the Financial Period also improved; with net loss improving by over 3% to QAR (312.4) million for the six months ended 30 September 2010 compared to QAR (324.0) million for the six month period ended 31 March 2010.

"Vodafone Qatar's late CEO Grahame Maher was an inspirational leader who came to Qatar in 2008 to set up Vodafone Qatar with the purpose of making a world of difference for all the people in Qatar.  Grahame was immensely proud of what we have achieved in our short time here, and these results are testament to his dedication and passion for developing Vodafone Qatar," concluded Mr Tombleson.

-ENDS-

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