Amsterdam, 16 September 2022 – 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.”
View the full trading update
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.
VEON’s results presented in this press release are, unless otherwise stated, based on IFRS and have not been externally reviewed and audited. The financial information included in this press release is preliminary and is based on a number of assumptions that are subject to inherent uncertainties and subject to change. The financial information presented herein is based on internal management accounts, is the responsibility of management and is subject to financial closing procedures which have not yet been completed and has not been audited, reviewed or verified. Certain amounts and percentages that appear in this trading update have been subject to rounding adjustments. As a result, certain numerical figures shown as totals, including those in the tables, may not be an exact arithmetic aggregation of the figures that precede or follow them. Although we believe the information to be reasonable, actual results may vary from the information contained above and such variations could be material. As such, you should not place undue reliance on this information. This information may not be indicative of the actual results for the current period or any future period.
This press release contains “forward-looking statements”, as the phrase is defined in Section 27A of the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. These forward-looking statements may be identified by words such as “may,” “might,” “will,” “could,” “would,” “should,” “expect,” “plan,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “seek,” “believe,” “estimate,” “predict,” “potential,” “continue,” “contemplate,” “possible” and other similar words. Forward-looking statements include statements relating to, among other things, VEON’s plans to implement its strategic priorities, including operating model and development plans; anticipated performance, including VEON’s ability to generate sufficient cash flow; VEON’s assessment of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on its current and future operations and financial condition; VEON’s assessment of the impact of the conflict surrounding Russia and Ukraine, including related sanctions and counter-sanctions, on its current and future operations and financial condition; future market developments and trends; operational and network development and network investment, including expectations regarding the roll-out and benefits of 3G/4G/LTE networks, as applicable; spectrum acquisitions and renewals; the effect of the acquisition of additional spectrum on customer experience; VEON’s ability to realize the acquisition and disposition of any of its businesses and assets and to execute its strategic transactions in the timeframes anticipated, or at all; VEON’s ability to realize financial improvements, including any expected reduction of net pro-forma leverage following the successful completion of certain dispositions and acquisitions; our dividends; and VEON’s ability to realize its targets and commercial initiatives in its various countries of operation.
The forward-looking statements included in this press release are based on management’s best assessment of VEON’s strategic and financial position and of future market conditions, trends and other potential developments. These discussions involve risks and uncertainties. The actual outcome may differ materially from these statements as a result of, among other things: further escalation in the conflict surrounding Russia and Ukraine, including further sanctions and counter-sanctions and any related involuntary deconsolidation of our Russian and/or Ukrainian operations; further unanticipated developments related to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as the effect on consumer spending, that has negatively affected VEON’s operations and financial condition in the past; demand for and market acceptance of VEON’s products and services; our plans regarding our dividend payments and policies, as well as our ability to receive dividends, distributions, loans, transfers or other payments or guarantees from our subsidiaries; continued volatility in the economies in VEON’s markets; governmental regulation of the telecommunications industries; general political uncertainties in VEON’s markets; government investigations or other regulatory actions; litigation or disputes with third parties or regulatory authorities or other negative developments regarding such parties; the impact of export controls and laws affecting trade and investment on our and important third-party suppliers' ability to procure goods, software or technology necessary for the services we provide to our customers; risks associated with data protection or cyber security, other risks beyond the parties’ control or a failure to meet expectations regarding various strategic priorities, the effect of foreign currency fluctuations, increased competition in the markets in which VEON operates and the effect of consumer taxes on the purchasing activities of consumers of VEON’s services.
Certain other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed in any forward-looking statements include the risk factors described in VEON’s Annual Report on Form 20-F for the year ended 31 December 2021 filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) on 29 April 2022 and other public filings made from time to time by VEON with the SEC. Other unknown or unpredictable factors also could harm our future results. New risk factors and uncertainties emerge from time to time and it is not possible for our management to predict all risk factors and uncertainties, nor can we assess the impact of all factors on our business or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statements. Under no circumstances should the inclusion of such forward-looking statements in this press release be regarded as a representation or warranty by us or any other person with respect to the achievement of results set out in such statements or that the underlying assumptions used will in fact be the case. Therefore, you are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements speak only as of the date hereof. We cannot assure you that any projected results or events will be achieved. Except to the extent required by law, we disclaim any obligation to update or revise any of these forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, after the date on which the statements are made, or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events. Furthermore, elements of this release contain or may contain, “inside information” as defined under the Market Abuse Regulation (EU) No. 596/2014.
VEON is a digital operator that provides converged connectivity and digital services to over 200 million customers. Operating across seven countries that are home to more than 8% of the world’s population, VEON is transforming lives through technology-driven services that empower individuals and drive economic growth. Headquartered in Amsterdam, VEON is listed on NASDAQ and Euronext.
For more information visit: https://www.veon.com.