GlobeNewswire

VEON 3Q23 trading update: raising full-year revenue and EBITDA guidance, return to USD revenue growth, exit from Russia completed

New York, 20 November 2023 6:00AM ET

VEON Q3 2023 Highlights

  • Revenue of USD 945 million, +6.1% YoY (+19.3% YoY in local currency)
  • Service revenue of USD 913 million, +6.9% YoY (+19.8% YoY in local currency)
  • EBITDA of USD 444 million, +17.0% YoY (+30.6% YoY in local currency)
  • Capex of USD 131 million, -29.8% YoY, with LTM capex intensity of 17.8%
  • Revenues generated by 4G and Multiplay users of USD 474 million, +15.4% YoY (+27.7% YoY in local currency)
  • Total cash and cash equivalents of USD 2.2 billion, with USD 1.8 billion at HQ
  • Gross debt at USD 4.3 billion (decreased by USD 7.1 billion YoY), with net debt excluding lease liabilities at USD 1.3 billion (decreased by USD 3.9 billion YoY)
  • Net debt to EBITDA excluding leases is 0.86x in the current quarter, a reduction from 3.3x from the third quarter of 2022
  • 92 million 4G users, up 12.9% YoY, with 58.8% penetration of customer base
  • 101 million cumulative monthly active users across all digital services and platforms as of 31 October 2023

VEON Ltd. (NASDAQ: VEON, Euronext Amsterdam: VEON), a global digital operator that provides converged connectivity and online services, announces selected financial and operating results for the third quarter and nine months ended 30 September 2023.

In 3Q23, total revenues reached USD 945 million, an increase of 6.1% YoY in reported currency, (+19.3% YoY in local currency). Service revenues amounted to USD 913 million, an increase of 6.9% YoY in reported currency (+19.8% in local currency), while EBITDA of USD 444 million represented a 17.0% YoY increase in reported currency terms (+30.6% YoY in local currency). Capex in 3Q23 was USD 131 million, a decline of 29.8% YoY, and reported capex intensity for the last twelve months was 17.8% (13.9% in the third quarter of 2023). Total cash and cash equivalents as of 30 September 2023 amounted to USD 2.2 billion with USD 1.8 billion held at the headquarters (“HQ”) level at the end of the quarter. VEON has raised its full-year local currency revenue growth guidance from 16-19% to 18-20%, its local currency EBITDA growth guidance from 10-14% to 18-20%, and its LTM Capex intensity guidance from 18-20% to 16-18%.

Commenting on the results, Kaan Terzioğlu said: “In 3Q23, VEON delivered very strong organic growth as well as solid reported currency growth in both revenue and EBITDA,  with our digital operator strategy helping to drive market share and wallet share gains across all our operations.

VEON's digital operators are expanding their value propositions by providing digital experiences in financial services, entertainment, education and healthcare. At the end of the third quarter, multiplay customers who benefit from our digital services as well as 4G voice and data accounted for nearly 24% of our subscriber base and 42% of our subscribers revenues in the B2C segment. Beyond our connectivity base, we served nearly 30 million digital-only users with our digital applications.

Following the completion of the sale of Russia operations, financial discipline remains our top priority. We have closed the quarter with a healthy balance sheet position. Net debt excluding leases has reduced from USD 5.1 billion in 3Q22 to USD 1.3 billion in 3Q23, while our net debt excluding leases to EBITDA ratio has declined from 3.3x in 3Q22 to 0.86x in 3Q23. Going forward, we will continue to focus on further optimising our cost structure and capital structure.”

Today, VEON also discloses unaudited interim condensed consolidated financial statements as of and for the three-month period ended 30 September 2023 and the nine-month period ended 30 September 2023 for VEON Ltd. and its wholly-owned subsidiary, VEON Holdings B.V.

Additional information

View the full 3Q23 trading update
View 3Q23 trading update presentation
View 3Q23 factbook
View unaudited interim condensed consolidated financial statements VEON Ltd. and VEON Holdings B.V. (a wholly-owned subsidiary of VEON Ltd.) as of and for the nine-month period ended September 30, 2023

About VEON

VEON is a digital operator that provides converged connectivity and digital services to nearly 160 million customers.  Operating across six countries that are home to more than 7% 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.

Notice to readers: financial information presented

VEON's results and other financial information presented in this press release are, unless otherwise stated, prepared in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards ("IFRS") based on internal management reporting, are the responsibility of management, and have not been externally audited, reviewed, or verified. As such, you should not place undue reliance on this information. This information may not be indicative of the actual results for any future period.

On 24 November 2022, VEON Ltd. announced that following a competitive process, it had entered into an agreement to sell its Russian operations. Upon execution of the agreement, the Russian business has been classified as `held for sale' and `discontinued operations', and accounted for as such, in line with the requirements of IFRS 5. The result is that the Russian operations do not contribute to VEON's comparison base or actual reported results in this press release (except with respect to net debt excluding leases as of 3Q22), however, this classification has no impact on balance sheet amounts in prior periods. On 9 October 2023, VEON Ltd. announced that it completed its exit from Russia with the closing of the sale of its Russian operations to a group of senior members of the PJSC VimpelCom management team.

Notice to readers: impact of the war in Ukraine

The ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine and the sanctions imposed by the United States, member states of the European Union, the European Union itself, the United Kingdom, Ukraine and certain other nations, counter-sanctions by Russia and other legal and regulatory responses, as well as responses by our service providers, partners, suppliers and other counterparties, and the consequences of all of the foregoing have impacted and, if the war, sanctions and such responses continue or escalate, may significantly impact our results and aspects of our operations in Ukraine, and may significantly affect our results and aspects of our operations in the other countries in which we operate. We are closely monitoring events in Russia and Ukraine, as well as the possibility of the imposition of further sanctions in connection with the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine and any resulting further rise in tensions between Russia and the United States, the United Kingdom and/or the European Union.

Although we have completed our exit from Russia, our operations in Ukraine continue to be affected by the war. We are doing everything we can to protect the safety of our employees, while continuing to ensure the uninterrupted operation of our communications, financial and digital services.

Disclaimer

VEON's results and other financial information presented in this press release are, unless otherwise stated, prepared in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards ("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 press release 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 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 an expected reduction of net pro-forma leverage ratio 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 Ukrainian operations; 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 our material weakness in internal control over financial reporting; 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 2022 filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) on 24 July 2023 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 press release contain or may contain, “inside information” as defined under the Market Abuse Regulation (EU) No. 596/2014.

Contact Information

VEON
Investor Relations
Faisal Ghori
ir@veon.com

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