Orascom Telecom Holding SAE (OT), the Egyptian company bought last year by Russia’s Vimpelcom, said it narrowed its losses in the fourth quarter to $83 million compared with a year earlier when it was hit by impairment charges.
Orascom was expected to report net income of $70 million, according to the average analyst forecast in a Reuters poll.
The company reported a decline in average revenue per user (ARPU) in its Algerian unit, Djezzy — its most profitable business — and continued negative effects after the Bank of Algeria instructed banks not to process any overseas foreign currency transfers by Orascom Telecom Algeria (OTA).
“This is having devastating effects on OTA’s network and reputation,” the company said in a statement. “It is preventing the importation of goods which are necessary for maintenance purposes and for network capacity expansion.”
Net income in the quarter was also impacted by an increase in unrealized foreign exchange losses in OT’s Bangladesh business and in OT Holding, driven by currency devaluations versus the US dollar in relation to certain loans and payables in foreign currencies.
Revenues for the quarter, down 2 per cent year-on-year to $896 million, were also hit by the depreciation of local currencies in its main operating markets, including Algeria and Pakistan.