VimpelCom’s owner VEON revenue dips 1.4% to $2.32 bln in Oct–Dec
MOSCOW, Feb 22 (PRIME) -- Total revenue of Amsterdam-based VEON, the sole owner of Russian mobile operator VimpelCom, decreased 1.4% on the year to U.S. $2.32 billion in October–December 2017, mainly due to a significant devaluation of the Uzbek som, the company said on Thursday in a statement.
Organic revenue grew 1.2%, driven by Russia, Pakistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan, partially offset by continued pressure in Algeria and Bangladesh.
Mobile and fixed services revenue shrank 1.3% to $2.214 billion, of which mobile data revenue increased 14.8% to $473 million.
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) decreased 3.8% to $753 million, mainly due to the significant devaluation of the Uzbek som, partially offset by lower exceptional costs.
For the whole of 2017, total revenue increased 6.6% to $9.474 billion. Mobile and fixed service revenue rose 6.5% to $9.105 billion, of which mobile data revenue jumped 30.2% to $1.856 billion.
EBITDA increased 11% to $3.587 billion.
The total mobile customer base, excluding Italy, expanded 1.4% on the year to 211 million as of the end of 2017. Total fixed-line broadband customers rose 2.3% to 3.1 million.
“Looking back on 2017, I am pleased to report another good year. Our total revenue grew by over 6% and EBITDA by 11%, supported by organic growth and the strengthening of the currencies in our portfolio. On the back of this solid performance, our underlying equity free cash flow increased significantly to over $1 billion. This is a clear testament that the strategy we launched in August 2015 is transforming our business,” CEO Jean-Yves Charlier said.
“Looking ahead to 2018, our financial performance will be impacted by Uzbekistan’s currency liberalization and a number of strategic transactions including the Pakistan tower transaction closing and the integration of the Euroset business in Russia. As such, we expect flat-to-low single digit organic growth for both group revenue and EBITDA. In addition, we forecast a strengthening of equity free cash flow, which we expect to be approximately $1 billion compared to $804 million in 2017 under the new definition for 2018 targets.”