Vodafone Qatar Thursday reported a 31% increase in revenue, year-on-year, to QR 1.2 Billion riding on mobile subscriber growth of 11%, senior company officials said while releasing financial results for the year ended March 31, 2012. Speaking at a media conference held at the Sharq Village and Spa, Vodafone Qatar CEO Richard Daly said, "We are very pleased with our performance this year and the solid growth achieved. Now almost half of the population of Qatar is actively using our services. This has helped us to deliver a 31% increase in revenue, improve our market share and enabled the company to report its first full year of EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization) profitability."
Among the financial highlights for the year ended March 31, company officials mentioned customer growth of 11% over the last year to 837,233 mobile users; market share increase to 28.5%; full year revenue market share closed at 24.5% representing an increase of 4.5ppt over last year.
The telecom operator's average revenue per user (ARPU) was QR 112 for the year and net loss improved 19% year-on-year to QR 486 Million.
Among the key achievements of its strategic priorities for the year, the company stated the addition of 45 new sites to take its total to 542 and 11 indoor solutions, a significant improvement in call quality with 99.8% network availability and excellent data transmission speeds.
Commenting on the Vodafone Qatar's aims, Daly said, "The main priority in the year has been the completion of our mobile network deployment. We now have nationwide coverage, excellent voice quality and a very impressive experience for customers accessing the Internet on their Vodafone mobiles."
Daly said the challenges of the start-up phase are history and the company now was entering into an exciting period with more network coverage, expansion of fixed line, taking "our fiber optic network into the ground and connecting base stations and we are looking forward to welcoming even more customers to our network".
Among the telecom operator's new plans, Daly said, "We will soon launch a post-paid billing service to effectively serve the business community. Vodafone welcomes the introduction of Mobile Number Portability later on this year which will help improve customer choice across the market.
"The most exciting development for us in the year ahead will be our full entry into the fixed line market. We are excited to be partnering with Qatar National Broadband Network to provide high speed broadband services over a state of the art fiber optic network and we are dedicated to offering our customers a new standard of customer care in this area."
Replying to a Qatar News Agency (QNA) question on the response to its money transfer service via mobile phones to the Philippines and expanding the service to other south Asian countries, Daly said, "We have a small segment of regular users of this service. We have plans to extend this service to other countries, however, the ecosystem of providing this service is very complex as it involves the user, the employer and regulatory authorities."
Regarding Qatarisation, he said, "We continue to increase the number of Qataris in our workforce and now have 14% overall. During the year, we opened a call centre in Doha with a team of young Qataris dedicated to serving our local customers. We also made the first appointment of a Qatari, onto our Executive team with more to follow. Our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activity increasingly focuses on the Qatari community and we are now localising our brand and advertising. We will continue to make every effort to develop this part of our role in Qatar."
Vodafone Qatar will be holding its annual general meeting on July 24 at 9.00pm at Al Silia Ballroom, Grand Hyatt Hotel. Registration starts at 8.30pm. Proxy voting forms and full details of the agenda are available on Vodafone Qatar's website www.vodafone.qa/AGM-EN