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Qalaa Holdings reports revenue growth of 39%

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Qalaa Holdings Founder and Chairman Dr Ahmed Heikal

Qalaa Holdings Founder and Chairman Dr Ahmed Heikal

Qalaa Holdings, a leader in energy and infrastructure (CCAP.CA on the Egyptian Exchange, formerly Citadel Capital), has released its consolidated financial results for the second quarter ended 30 June 2018, reporting EBITDA growth of 52% y-o-y to $ 15.3 million on revenues of $ 172.9 million up 39% y-o-y. Strong growth came on the back of a solid performance by the Group’s energy division coupled with the consolidation of National Printing, which began during the first quarter of 2018. The Group recorded a net profit of $ 27.2 million in 2Q18, largely driven by non-cash gains of $ 72.5 million delivered through restructuring efforts. On a six month basis, Qalaa’s net profit came in at $16.8 million on revenues of $ 347.7 million in 1H18, up 43% y-o-y.

“I am very pleased with our company’s performance in the second quarter and first half of 2018,” said Qalaa Holdings Chairman and Founder Ahmed Heikal. “Our core energy and infrastructure subsidiaries continue to deliver operational growth as they capitalize on favorable market dynamics. Strong revenue growth saw Qalaa report a solid 52% increase in its EBITDA for 2Q18, with bottom-line profitability buoyed as gains from restructuring efforts offset interest expenses carried at the holding and subsidiary levels.”

In 2Q18, Qalaa recorded, $51.3 million non-cash gain from the deconsolidation of the operational liabilities (net of FX reserve & minority interest) under Africa Railways. This, however, is only a partial deconsolidation as Qalaa expects a second one-off non-cash gain of c. $ 139.5 million (related to the debt portion of Africa Railways) during the coming months once a sale or liquidation takes place.

Additionally, Qalaa booked a gain of $19.2 million at the holding level in 2Q18 related to acquisition and restructuring activities. The gain was primarily generated from a differential between National Printing’s consolidated book value and its fair market value as determined by an independent financial advisor, as well as the purchase of a loan from one of Qalaa’s subsidiaries which was settled directly with the bank at a discount.

“Our results in the second quarter reflect our ongoing efforts to streamline and optimize our portfolio with the company beginning to harvest the merits of its strategy,” said Hisham El-Khazindar, Qalaa Holding’s Co-Founder and Managing Director. “Our decision to bring National Printing into the fold is already seeing it make significant top- and bottom-line contributions, while efforts to clean-up our portfolio and shed discontinued operations has paid off as the account reports almost zero losses in 2Q18.”

“Meanwhile, as previously communicated we have booked an expected non-cash gain on the partial deconsolidation of Africa Railways nearing $ 55.8 million. We are actively exploring avenues to sell or liquidate the company and trigger the complete deconsolidation of its debt obligation which should result in a further gain of c. $ 139.6 million in the coming months. Together said gains will help offset the effect of a related impairment of $ 178.7 million booked in FY17, and consequently strengthen our financial position as we head into the next growth phase for Qalaa,” El-Khazindar added.

“As we bring our company closer to the cusp of sustainable operational profitability, we are actively gearing up for the next growth phase across our subsidiaries. At TAQA Arabia, we have earmarked c.$ 446.7 million in investments over the coming three years that will see us accelerate the company’s distribution reach with more filling stations, diversify into renewable energy with our pilot solar project in Benban and expand our exposure to conventional energy through investments in coal-fired power plants. Qalaa is also looking to increase its ownership in the Egyptian Refining Company’s transformative project which is now 98% complete with start of commissioning by end of 2018. Meanwhile, new capacities for RDF production at Tawazon have already been procured and commissioning is expected by 2019. Said investments alongside similar ventures in our mining and logistics platforms will see Qalaa continue to deliver on this growth momentum and cement its position as an African leader in energy and infrastructure,” Heikal concluded.

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Local Business

Cab driver wins big in MoMo Nyabo promo, to invest in fish business

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Ayebale Ismail who won Ugx 4.2 million in MoMo Nyabo promo is going to invest his cash prize in Fish business.

Ayebale Ismail who won Ugx 4.2 million in MoMo Nyabo promo is going to invest his cash prize in Fish business.

By Our Reporter

Through its promotion dubbed MoMo Nyabo Together, MTN Uganda is giving out up to Ugx 5,000,000 shillings to two winners every weekday in a bid to support Ugandans as they rebuild from the financial devastations caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Among the recent lucky winners is 34-year-old Ismail Ayebale, an airport taxi driver walked away with Ugx 4,200,000 shillings. The airport cab driver who has been out of business since the closure of the airport was overjoyed to learn that he had been chosen as a lucky winner in the on-going MTN MoMoNyabo Together promotion.

Due to his Covid 19-induced unemployment, Ayebale became a fish vendor to support his family. The young man that lives next to Lake Victoria in Entebbe buys fish from various fishermen and later on dresses and sells it to people in Kampala at a profit, to make ends meet for his family.

“Life has not been the same, the money I earn now is nothing compared to what I would make before the COVID pandemic,” Ayebale said as he narrated how tough the times have been for the past five months.

The MTN Marketing Coordinator for Central Region, Jimmy Ssempuuma congratulated Ayebale while handing over his cheque of Ugx 4,200,000 shillings. He empahises MTN’s commitment to supporting its customers though such promotions.

Ayebale chose to share the money he won with his mother Margret Nyakaisiki. An excited Nyakaisiki over a phone conversation ululated as she vehemently thanked MTN Uganda for giving back to her son who in turn shared with her.

Ayebale noted that he had always heard about the MoMoNyabo campaign but always thought it was a hoax since he had never won. He however confirmed in the presence of his family that having been named a lucky winner, he is now a strong believer of the MoMoNyabo Together promotion.

To take part in the promotion that was launched last month, MTN customers simply use the MyMTN app or dial *165# to buy data or airtime as well as paying for many other services using Mobile Money.

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Local Business

MTN MoMo: Your One-stop Payment Point

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By Our Reporter 

In March 2009, MTN became the first telecom operator in Uganda to launch a mobile financial service that would revolutionize the country’s financial fabric. More than a decade later, the service has evolved into a one-stop financial transaction point that is championing financial inclusion across the spectrum as it transforms the country into a cashless economy.

From the most basic feature of sending and receiving money, to performing simple tasks such as buying airtime and data in the comfort of your home or paying bills and school fees, you can now transact across the borders as well as pay taxes to the Uganda Revenue Authority, make Kampala City Council Authority Payments and make donations and so many other payments on your phone using MTN MoMo.

According to Stephen Mutana, the General Manager Mobile Financial Services at MTN Uganda, paying for goods and services is easy, safe and convenient when you keep some money on MTN MoMo.

He added that, “the experience of using MTN MoMo has been made even better with the MyMTN app.”

The MyMTN app is available and can be downloaded from both android and iOS app stores.

To ease the payment for goods and services, MTN Uganda launched MoMoPay, a digital payment platform that allows customers to pay for goods and services directly from their Mobile Money accounts, free of charge without having to withdraw it first.

Caroline Nakato, an ardent user of the MoMoPay service says that the payment method has simplified her life.

“I don’t have to stress with going to the bank to withdraw cash and carrying it around for shopping or paying for certain services. All I have to do is transfer it to my MoMo account and off I go. It saves me time yet it is safe secure and always available. Even when I lost my phone, my PIN number keeps my money safe,” says Nakato.

MTN MoMoPay is available in several supermarkets, shops, pharmacies, hospitals and all MTN Service Centers in towns across the country, meaning that even when one travels upcountry, they can still access the service.

Online Shopping with MTN MoMo

Another exciting innovation for people who love online shopping is perhaps, the MTN MoMocard. MTN in partnership with Mastercard offers customers the ability to make online payments using a virtual card known as the MTN MoMocard. The payments are made from the customer’s MTN MoMo account.

To enjoy this service, simply dial *165*70# and select option 1 (Create MTN
MoMocard). You will be prompted to enter your MTN MoMo PIN. The MTN MoMocard details are sent to the customer via SMS message. It costs UGX 1,000 shillings only to create the MTN MoMocard for a transaction.

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Local Business

Airtel Uganda opens online shop

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Airtel Uganda Managing Director Mr. V.G. Somasekhar addresses guests during a business breakfast held recently

Airtel Uganda Managing Director Mr. V.G. Somasekhar

By Our Reporter

Airtel Uganda has launched an online shop on its website that will enable customers conveniently, quickly and safely order for devices.

The platform that is now live, provides customers a wide range of devices to include; the 4G Pocket WIFI/MIFI, WIFI Indoor Router, a pair of Broadband Outdoor and Indoor Unit and My First 4G Smartphone.

Commenting on the launch, the Airtel Uganda Managing Director V.G. Somasekhar said; “We are excited to launch this platform that will provide Airtel customers with an easy, quick and safe way to purchase our products. We strongly believe in putting our customer at the centre of everything we do. With this objective in mind, we continue to introduce digital innovations and make improvements to our processes that have put our customers in greater control of their overall telecoms experience.”

With the Airtel Online Shop, all the customer needs is internet. Through this platform, customers will be able to connect with the Airtel Broadband team which will follow up on their orders and then supply the devices they have ordered for.

“During such crucial times, it is vital for us to continuously think about our customers’ health and safety. As part of our post Covid-19 strategy, all the products will be delivered with all safety precautions like sanitation of packages and cashless payment,” the General Manager-Broadband, Brenden Kachenje said.

To make a purchase, customers will have to visit the Airtel Uganda website and navigate to the Broadband tab from where they will choose their preferred device and click the Order Now button. They will then have to fill in contact details to complete their order.

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Local Business

How the MTN MoMo Nyabo promo is changing lives amidst the COVID-19 pandemic

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Betty Nanfuka and her husband jubilate after receiving their money won in MTN MoMo Nyabo promo.

Betty Nanfuka and her husband jubilate after receiving their money won in MTN MoMo Nyabo promo.

By Our Reporter 

The economic and financial constraints caused by COVID-19 have been felt by many people in Uganda. However, telecom giant, MTN Uganda through its MTN MoMo Nyabo Together Promotion, is restoring lives in ways unimaginable.

Betty Nanfuka, 54, from Buwama in Masaka district, won herself 5,000,000 Uganda shillings. Nanfuka refused to believe that she had won till she received the actual MTN team at her residence in Buwama.

The mother of twelve and grandmother of ten danced and jubilated while welcoming the MTN team to her residence in Buwama.

Nanfuka said she would use the money she has won to finally build a permanent structure; “I intend to immediately buy iron sheets so that I can build my dream home. With the rest of the money I will be able to invest in farming as I already had a nursery bed for my tomatoes.”

A security conscious Nanfuka narrated how she later on had to inquire from the area chairman of Sango sub county if indeed MTN had an ongoing promotion since she does not have a television set and barely uses her radio. After confirming the truth, an overly excited Nanfuka even failed to sleep as she resorted to praying the rosary since it all felt like a dream to her.

Nanfuka has been a loyal client to the MTN brand especially its mobile money service that she uses to pay for Ready Pay solar.

Nanfuka chose her husband Leonard Kawuma as her beneficiary; “He knows how far we have come,” she said, in reference to her husband as they danced together.

Kawuma received 2,000,000 Uganda shillings as his wife received 3,000,000 Uganda shillings.

Amidst the global COVID-19 pandemic, one’s worst nightmare would be falling sick of either COVID-19 itself or any other ailment. As many struggle to afford feeding and accommodation bills, the last bill one would want to incur is a medical bill.

Despite all the financial challenges that came with the pandemic, Nalongo Kevin Namagembe a resident of Kikoni had accumulated medical bills that had stripped her of all her finances yet she still had more medical bills to meet. Namagembe who is a Manager at Intertrade Global Eastern region stationed in Malaba has not been able to resume work because of her health complications.

Nalongo Kevin Namagembe from Makerere-Kikoni won Ugx 4.2 million from the MTN MoMo Nyabo Promotion

Nalongo Kevin Namagembe won Ugx 4.2 million from the MTN MoMo Nyabo Promotion

Fortunately, she won Ugx 4,200,000 shillings in the on-going MTN MoMo Nyabo Promotion and with this money, she will be able to treat her hand that was paralyzed by the illness.

During the lockdown Namagembe used up all she had whilst footing her medical bills: “Transport alone was expensive as I was normally charged 25,000 to get to Mulago from Makerere-Kikoni,” she said. Namagembe thanked God for not forsaking her and using MTN to bless her at a time she needed it the most.

Namagembe further said that her health was her major priority and she would use the money she had won to pay for her therapy as well as purchase the different medications she had been advised to buy.

“I can now breathe. I am now able to afford the natural remedies my nutritionist had recommended as well all the medicine I need.” Said a happy Namagembe. She shared the money with her father, Matthew Mukasa Ssentamu.

Apart from the 2 daily winners of up to UGX 5,000,000, 250 people win 50,000 shillings directly every day. All you have to do is pay using MTN MoMo and stand a chance to win.

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