Veon Reports 3Q20 Results

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VEON Ltd. (NASDAQ: VEON), announces results for the quarter ended 30 September 2020.

RESULTS HIGHLIGHTS

  • All operations recorded improved YoY trends compared to the previous quarter as lockdown restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic eased. Reported revenue decreased by 10.4% YoY mainly due to currency headwinds, while the local currency decline in revenue was limited to 1.3% YoY
  • The Group recorded a quarter-on-quarter increase in the total mobile customer base with net additions of 3 million in 3Q20 to 207 million following net decline of 6 million in customers in the second quarter period
  • Strong growth in 4G users resumed: up by 20 million YoY and by 8 million QoQ, bringing total 4G users to 73 million, driving the long-term revenue expansion of the Group. Ongoing network investment saw 4G population coverage up 18p.p. YoY to 69%
  • We recorded double-digit growth in mobile data revenue, up 13.1% YoY in local currency as customers switched back from fixed line as lockdowns restrictions eased and with 4G user ARPUs on average two times higher than the total customer base ARPU
  • Across our digital businesses, we continue to make good progress. JazzCash closed the quarter with 9.7 million (MAU), while in the content area both Beeline TV in Russia and Toffee TV in Bangladesh recorded strong YoY trends
  • PakistanUkraine and Kazakhstan recorded double-digit EBITDA growth which was offset by operational challenges in Russia. Reported EBITDA decreased by 9% YoY due to currency headwinds; in local currency EBITDA increased by 0.1% YoY
  • VEON recorded a non-cash impairment of USD 790 million, primarily against the carrying value of goodwill in Russia. 3Q20 net profit before impairments was USD 145 million
  • FY2020 guidance confirmed, anticipating a steady recovery in operations, subject to the gradual lifting of lockdown measures, and a low to mid-single-digit local currency YoY decline in both Group revenue and EBITDA, with Capex Intensity of 22-24%

Kaan Terzioğlu and Sergi Herrero, co-Chief Executive Officers, commented on results:

“The third quarter saw strong sequential improvements in the financial performance of the majority of our operating companies, as lockdown restrictions eased in most of our markets. The Group remains focused on operational execution and improving commercial momentum while driving a number of initiatives across our markets to support the significant data & digital opportunities we enjoy.

We are pleased to see real progress on the execution of our strategy to grow our 4G user base across all our operations and, in doing so, support the expansion in our data and digital revenues which together represent a meaningful opportunity for the Group to expand revenue in the long-term.

At the end of September, we reported 4G users of 73 million, which collectively now account for 35% of our total customer base. But even more encouraging is that due to 4G segment growth, data revenues increased by 13% in local currency on a YoY basis – momentum we will strive to continue to deliver on in the coming months.

Looking forward, as a management team, we remain excited by the growth opportunities we enjoy as our 4G network deployment program drives greater levels of customer engagement and digital services adoption. In support of this, we have continued with our focused network rollout across the Group’s markets, investing an additional $354 million in the quarter.

We remain committed to executing on our planned operational improvements, particularly in Russia, where we continue to invest in network quality and a growing range of digital services while focusing on strengthening our commercial propositions for all our customers. Elsewhere across the Group, the early-stage nature of our markets provides us with structural growth opportunities in digital adoption and we are well-placed to reap the benefit from these growth opportunities as was evident in the quarter where we saw a relatively quick recovery in the operating performance.

As a management team we have resolved to address a number of matters in the interest of our investors, including a zero-cost depository receipt program for NASDAQ investors and a structural reduction in our HQ costs as we take on a new operating model.”