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Egypt's Orascom Telecom falls to loss in first quarter

The firm controlled by Russia's Vimpelcom sees $204 million net loss in Q1 2013, compared to a profit of $120.4 million a year earlier

Reuters, Wednesday 15 May 2013
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Egyptian mobile phone operator Orascom Telecom Holding said on Wednesday it swung to a net loss in the first quarter of 2013, blaming foreign exchange losses and impairment of some assets.

The firm, controlled by Russia's Vimpelcom, made a net loss before minority interests of $204 million for the quarter compared to a profit of $120.4 million a year earlier, it said in a statement.

It said the loss was "mainly driven by the adverse impact of foreign exchange losses of $173 million and the impairment of assets held for sale by $58 million, as to reflect the fair value of our operations in CAR (Central African Republic) and Burundi."

Orascom said it made revenue of $849 million for the quarter, a decline of about 1 percent over the previous year. Total subscribers increased 3 percent from a year earlier to about 85 million.

The firm's management on Tuesday recommended shareholders reject an offer by a subsidiary of Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman's Altime to buy the company for $0.70 a share.

It said an independent financial adviser had put a fair value on Orascom's shares of $0.86 per share.

Orascom has mobile businesses in Canada, Algeria and other emerging markets such as Bangladesh.

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