Kuwait - 27th March 2019: VIVA held it’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) at the Four Seasons Hotel on 27 March 2019, and the attendance represented 66.208% from the total shareholders.
The AGM approved the board of directors’ report, the auditors’ report and the sharia committee’s report for the fiscal year ended 31 December 2018. Also, the AGM approved the corporate governance report, the Audit Committee report and the report of remuneration and benefits for the board of directors and executive management for the year ended on 31 December 2018. In addition, the AGM approved financial statements and board of directors’ recommendation to distribute cash dividends of 40 fils among the shareholders representing 40 percent of the capital for the fiscal year ended 31 December 2018 for the shareholders registered in the company's records on the Record Date on Sunday 14 April 2019 and the cash dividends will be distributed for the eligible shareholders on the Payment Date on Sunday 21 April 2019.
The Chairman of VIVA, Dr. Mahmoud Ahmed Abdulrahman, commented that “Despite the high competition witnessed in Kuwait Telecommunication Market, VIVA was able to achieve good levels of revenues and growth in profitability to sustain the operational efficiency and to ensure generating positive return to our shareholders. Despite the fierce competition in the market VIVA has achieved growth in both revenue and profitability, and has further enhanced operational efficiency to create value and deliver reliable returns to its shareholder. The way VIVA has worked to consolidate its position as a leader in the telecom Industry and the developing services and creative offers to meet our customer needs.
He added: “VIVA, grew its net profit by 18% to reach KD 50.4 million (earnings per share of 101 fils) compared to KD 42.8 million (earnings per share of 86 fils) in the previous year.”
On his part, Mr. Mohammed Bin AbdulMohsen Al-Assaf, VIVA’s Acting CEO and CFO, said: “VIVA achieved its financial goals in 2018 despite the high competition, where increased competition among mobile service providers led to lower prices, while the increased use of voice over IP (VoIP) affected the erosion margins, especially on traditional voice packages. The Data dominance and the need to invest, are becoming more important than ever. In 2019, we are looking to meet these challenges by improving our cost and achieving our competitive strategy. Our vision of growth was not limited to the first decade of the VIVA, but exceeded to investing in our future business through our strategy to develop infrastructure and investment in the modern and digital technology sector. We became the first telecom company to experience live on the fifth generation network 5G pre-launch in the near future.”
He added: “Despite the difficult market conditions squeezing financial margins, we were able to both protect and improve our profits in 2018 VIVA reported excellent financial results generating revenues of KD 288 million, an increase of 0.1% Compared to 2017, whereas EBITDA grew by 9.5% compared to last year to reach KD 77.8 million. Our focus on driving business efficiency was clearly reflected by our strong EBITDA margin reached 27% with historical net income reached KD 50.4 million. Our investment for expanding and upgrading our network led to CAPEX spend of KD 31.1 million over the year, reflecting to 11% of revenue, this will be critical in order for us to maintain our competitive advantage in future. Our commitment to delivering value to our shareholders, is reflected in the increase of equity by 22% to KD 192 million.
Our ability to navigate an increasingly challenging operating environment is evidence of the capability of the business to leverage new opportunities. We aim to deliver on our strategy to create an agile and leading organization, benefitting from new growth opportunities, monetizing our assets and continuing to increase efficiency.
He added: “In the coming year, we will seek to enhance our core business to augment the value we offer and to grow our profitable market share. We will also place a clear focus on value-creating digital opportunities for our business, to protect VIVA from any potential decline in the market. Our goal will be on creating telecom investments opportunities and working with IoT businesses to capitalize on the wider potential the local market can offer. We aim to further strength our operations through digitization, providing best-in-class services to our customers.