VEON in the first quarter of 2017 has recorded an impressive revenue growth of 5.4 percent on its Pakistan operations to PKR 38.7 million. The positive momentum is continuing into 2017 with solid revenue growth and synergies on track.

Overall off to a good start to the financial year as our financial performance is in line with our expectation. Furthermore, after years of currency headwinds, our results are finally supported by currency tailwinds, even if our revenues were stable on an organic basis, adjusted for the leap year effect:

  • Our revenue increased by 13% in USD with strong performance in Pakistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Georgia
  • EBITDA, a key measure of our financial health, jumped by 14% in USD, with strong performance in Pakistan, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan
  • Our business generated an underlying equity cash flow of almost USD 200 million USD, which puts us in a good position to pursue our sustainable progressive dividend policy and hence make VEON attractive again for investors,
  • Our JV in Italy also had a strong quarter with revenues growing by over 2%, with synergies well on track.

We also reached a number of major milestones in the quarter, further demonstrating that our strategy is on course:

  • We successfully rebranded to VEON to accelerate our move from telco to tech,
  • We announced the company resuming a meaningful dividend policy and successfully listed VEON on Euronext Amsterdam, We increased the free float to slightly over 24% following a further
  • We increased the free float to slightly over 24% following a further sell-down by Telenor,
  • We increased our stake in GTH, the listed holding company that controls our subsidiaries in Algeria, Bangladesh, and Pakistan, to over 57%.

It has been a busy quarter for the company as we regain credibility with the financial community and accelerate our plans to transform and reinvent our business. We are addressing the structural issues that plagued our company in the past and are emerging with a much stronger portfolio of businesses across the world.  The future is increasingly about accelerating our growth, delivering on our cash flow targets to support a meaningful dividend policy and accelerating our digital strategy.

Our new values are essential in underpinning the next phase of our strategy.

I believe that the cultural turnaround will be a key test of our future successes.  Around the world, we are making progress in implementing these new values.  But we want to go further and we have recently decided to invest up to USD 50 million to renew our work environment in our main locations around the world, making VEON a place where our employees enjoy working, collaborating and succeeding together.

“Our rebranding and the ambitious goal to become a tech company have created a positive spirit within the company, as well as externally. We now need to continue to work together towards this common goal, by building a company that we can all be proud of and by delivering on the commitments we made to our employees, customers and investors.”

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“Next week, I will meet with our top 100 global leaders in Algiers to discuss how we accelerate the digital journey we have embarked upon, while focusing on the new values and the cultural change across the group. It is a key event to bring our top leaders together every six months to share best practice and continue shaping the future.”

In that spirit, my warm thanks and praise for your great work and let’s continue to shape the future together.

According to a statement from Veon, the Warid integration is ahead of schedule and the merged entity has been greatly providing unified on-net offered to the consumer base since October, 2016, the impact has also been noticeable much due to the third generation of mobile telecommunication technology (3G) which is now being offered in more than 350 cities while 4G/LTE is being offered in over 50 cities.