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Orascom Telecom's loss deepens in Q4

Egyptian telco group's net loss hits $469m in fourth quarter

Orascom Telecom's loss deepens in Q4
Orascom Group's revenues were dented by currency fluctations in 2012, its CEO said.

Egypt's Orascom Telecom posted a net loss of almost $469m for the fourth quarter of 2012, compared to a loss of $123.4m in the same period a year earlier.

The company reported a full-year loss of $205.7m, compared with a profit of $660.35m in 2011. Orascom Telecom attributed the decline largely to tax charges and currency fluctuations.

The telecom group, which has operations in seven countries in Africa, Asia and North America, posted revenues of $908m for Q4 2012, up 1.4% on the previous year.

EBITDA for the quarter was $425m, a rise of 22.8% compared to Q4 2011.

The group, which is controlled by Russia's VimpelCom, said that its subscriber base reached almost 85m by the end of 2012, up 8.7% on the previous year.

Ahmed Abou Doma, CEO, Orascom Telecom, said: "Our operations achieved healthy growth in local currency terms, yet continued to be affected by the fluctuation of local currencies against the US dollar, mainly in Algeria and Pakistan.

"EBITDA organic growth continued to surpass revenue organic growth, marking 33% and 11% respectively, driven by operational excellence initiatives across the board, leading to profitable growth."

Doma added that the company launched mobile financial services in Pakistan and Burundi, and also achieved growth of 85% year-on-year in MFS revenues in Bangladesh.

The telco also selected vendors for deploying 3G technology for Mobilink in Pakistan, paving the way to introduce 3G services as soon as the licencing process is complete.

Doma attributed the rise in revenues to growth in subscribers and an increase in data and VAS uptake in Algeria, Pakistan and Bangladesh. "EBITDA increased as a result of this growth and cost-saving initiatives in our major subsidiaries," he said.

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