February 23, 2017 / 5:01 AM / 7 months ago

Qatar's Ooredoo posts flat Q4 profit

DUBAI, Feb 23 (Reuters) - Qatari telecom operator Ooredoo reported a flat fourth-quarter net profit as currency depreciations in North Africa dented revenue.

The earnings of the former monopoly, which operates in about a dozen territories across the Middle East, Africa and Asia, have been hit from mid-2013 by foreign exchange losses and plunging earnings from war-torn Iraq, although a strong domestic performance has helped mitigate the impact.

After a period of volatile profitability, the firm had reported rising profits in the previous three quarters.

Ooredoo made a net profit of 361 million Qatar riyals ($99.1 million) in the three months to Dec. 31, it said in a statement late on Wednesday, compared with a profit of 360 million riyals in the year-earlier period.

SICO Bahrain forecast a quarterly profit of 356.74 million riyals.

Ooredoo’s consolidated fourth-quarter revenue was 8.23 billion riyals, versus 7.97 billion riyals a year ago.

Revenue in its Algerian and Tunisian units fell 7 percent and 5.5 percent, respectively, when reported in riyals due to currency depreciations in the two countries

The board proposed an annual dividend of 3.5 riyals per share, compared with 3 riyals the previous year. ($1 = 3.6412 Qatar riyals) (Reporting by Alexander Cornwell; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)

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