Full year 2018 key highlights:
• Consolidated revenue closed at EGP 22.8bn, recording a 23% increase YoY driven by strong growth in the retail segment (+36% YoY) contributing 71% of total growth. Wholesale grew 12% YoY boosted by the Bharti Airtel agreement (EGP 1.6bn).
• Customer base rose across all segments. Fixed broadband grew 29% YoY and fixed voice 10% YoY. Mobile subscribers reached 3.9mn subscribers as of year-end.
• EBITDA grew 18% YoY, in line with our FY guidance recording a margin of 27%. • Operating profit landed at EGP 3.6bn, normalizing Etisalat dispute settlement provisions in 2017, operating profit would have grown by +14% YoY.
• Net Profit came in at EGP3.5bn, reporting +14% YoY.
• In-service CapEx intensity reached 37%, slightly lower than last year’s 40% as we expedited the fibre replacement program to end by 2020 instead of 2022.
• Net Debt recorded EGP 12.9bn for FY 2018 representing 2.1x of EBITDA rising from 1.3x in FY 2017. The normalized effective interest rate for FY 18 is 9.1%.
• Management proposed a dividend of EGP 0.25 per share for FY 2018.
Adel Hamed, Group Chief Executive, commented:
“2018 was a truly transformative year for Telecom Egypt as its strong operational performance led it to exceed the full year guidance in absolute terms. The year is marked with the strong retail growth driven by the launch of data-centric offers in both fixed and mobile and the introduction of the Indigo Plus offering, which turned WE into a fully convergent brand. Additionally, we have fortified our international positioning with the acquisition of MENA Cable Co. and the deal with Bharti Airtel. Our priorities for 2019 will focus on capitalizing on our leading position in Egyptian homes adding to our products a triple and quad-play offering (fixed voice and broadband, IPTV and mobile). We are also looking forward to our greater role in the nation-wide digital transformation initiative. We have started with the schools’ connectivity project in Q3 2018 and we are expecting more of these projects with other government institutions in 2019. We will capitalize on our resilient and wide national and international network; efficiently utilize our assets and depend on our highly competent work force as key enablers of our growth strategy. Finally, I am very pleased with the recently announced deal with Vodafone Group on dividends. This will avail Telecom Egypt with the much-needed liquidity to deleverage, enhance its profitability as well as focus on strategic cost cutting initiatives to improve the cost structure of the company.”