DUBAI Feb 23 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
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)