2 Mar 2009
The Kuwait-based cellular operator Zain has reported increases in turnover and profit for 2008 on the back of strong subscriber growth. The group, which has operations in 22 countries across the Middle East and Africa, claimed 63.5 million customers at the end of 2008, up from 40 million twelve months earlier. Sales for the year grew 22% to USD7.44 billion, despite currency fluctuations, while net profit was up 6% at USD1.2 billion and EBITDA rose 15% to USD2.78 billion. Chief Executive Officer of Zain, Dr Saad Al Barrak, commented: ‘Despite a very challenging environment on many fronts and huge investments in network expansion, the group was able to achieve appealing and realistic levels of profitability during 2008.’ He added: ‘During the year Zain committed over USD3 billion in network upgrades and expansion, primarily in vast and viable markets such as Ghana, Iraq, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia and Sudan, all resulting in robust customer acquisition and revenues.