Amsterdam – VEON Ltd. (NASDAQ: VEON, Euronext Amsterdam: VEON), a global digital operator that provides converged connectivity and services, today announces a trading update for the first eight months of 2022 (“8M22”).
VEON Group 8M22 consolidated revenue was up by 3.1% year-on-year (“YoY”) in reported currency, and by 6.5% YoY in local currency terms, with five of our seven countries reporting double-digit local currency revenue growth for the period. Reported currency service revenue was up by 4.3% YoY and by 7.8% YoY in local currency terms. Reported currency EBITDA was up 3.9% YoY, with local currency EBITDA growing by 7.9% YoY. Adjusting for Georgia, like-for-like local currency service revenue increased 8.0% YoY with EBITDA up 8.1% YoY.
During July and August (“QTD”), service revenue was up by 7.9% YoY in reported currency and up by 6.5% YoY in local currency. EBITDA increased by 2.4% YoY in reported currency and by 2.3% YoY in local currency in the first two months of Q3. Adjusting for Georgia QTD like-for-like local currency service revenue increased 7.2% YoY with EBITDA up 3.0% YoY.
On 5 August 2022, we completed the sale of our stake in the Algerian operator Djezzy to our partner FNI, for which VEON received USD 682 million. The Group’s total cash and deposits amounted to approximately USD 3.2 billion, including USD 2.5 billion equivalent of USD- and EUR-denominated cash and deposits held by the headquarters in Amsterdam as of 31 August 2022.
In August 2022, Kyivstar acquired a controlling stake in the e-health platform Helsi in Ukraine, which is known as a provider of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions for medical information systems that are used by more than 1,600 public and private healthcare institutions throughout Ukraine; more than 30 million people have registered in the system with 13 million people having used the web platform in the first eight months of the year making 4.5 million visits every month to specialists in person, and 10 thousand online consultations.
Our digital financial services platform JazzCash in Pakistan increased its monthly active users (“MAUs”) by 17.6% YoY, reaching 16.1 million MAUs, while the digital entertainment service Toffee in Bangladesh launched revenue generation for content creators. By the end of August, VEON Group’s total subscriber base was up 1.5% YoY to 203.5 million while 4G users increased 16.5% YoY to 105.8 million reaching 52.0% of our customer base.
Group CEO Kaan Terzioglu commented:
“The start of the third quarter of 2022 demonstrated continued operational momentum across the Group, supported by our focused 4G rollout and digital operator transformation. Multiplay users increased as we continue to enhance and expand the digital services that our customers value.”
“Our continued focus on inflationary pricing together with the growing subscriber base and increased 4G penetration supported YoY revenue and EBITDA growth during July and August both in reported and in local currencies. VEON’s liquidity position remains strong, with USD 3.2 billion in cash at the end of August, of which USD 2.5 billion was held at HQ level.”
Non-recurring items that affect year-on-year comparisons
On 8 June 2022, VEON announced completion of the sale of VEON Georgia LLC, VEON’s operating subsidiary in Georgia. Georgia results were deconsolidated from VEON Group numbers following the date of sale. The Georgian operations do not contribute to either the comparison base or the actual reported numbers of customer base, 4G users and 4G penetration.
Following the exercise of the put option for our stake in Algeria on 1 July 2021, the Algerian business has, in line with the requirements of IFRS 5, become a discontinued operation, and was accounted for as “held for sale.” On 5 August 2022, VEON completed the sale of the Algerian business. The result is that the Algerian operations do not contribute to VEON’s comparison base or actual reported numbers in this press release.
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