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Veon Sees Mixed Results but Shows Strength in Emerging Markets

Veon Sees Mixed Results but Shows Strength in Emerging Markets

Veon has reported “good operational performance” across its operations in Pakistan, Russia and Ukraine despite seeing losses due to currency devaluation in certain markets.

The operator’s total revenue fell by 1.4% to $2.25 billion, although its organic revenue (not factoring in foreign exchange or M&A) actually increased by 3.2%. Its loss attributable to shareholders for Q1 2018 was $109 million, compared to $5 million for the same period in the previous year.

Costs related to the integration of Euroset – the retail business recently acquired by Veon – have affected its earnings, but the operator also observed that there had been a “significant devaluation” in the currencies of two of its markets, Pakistan and Uzbekistan.

Veon also noted that its activity in Algeria and Bangladesh “remains under pressure”, although it noted “there is an indication that our turnaround plans for these markets are on track and are likely to show operational improvements towards the back-end of the financial year”.

In its largest market of Russia, Veon saw its revenue jump 2.9% to RUB66.35 billion ($1.1 billion), with mobile revenue up by 3.7% to RUB54.28 billion. Fixed-line revenue in Russia however fell by 8.2% to RUB8.87 billion.

The operator has faced a shake-up over the past few months. Its CEO of three years, Jean-Yves Charlier, left his role and no replacement has yet been appointed, while Veon also scrapped a tender offer for a full takeover of Global Telecom Holding after the Egyptian authorities refused to grant approvals. In addition, it has sold its operations in Laos to the country’s government and is on track to exit Tajikistan.

Veon’s units in Bangladesh and Ukraine both launched 4G services in Q1, having acquired the necessary spectrum. Veon now offers LTE in all of its operating markets, with Bangladesh, Pakistan and Ukraine in particular driving growth.

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