Kuwait-based telecoms group Zain has reported consolidated revenues of KWD1.35 billion (USD4.85 billion) for the twelve months ended 31 December 2010. This figure represents an increase of 7% compared to the revenues generated during 2009. During the same period Zain reports that net income increased 445%, to reach KWD1.06 billion. Zain notes that this figure is inclusive of the capital gain of KWD770.3 million from the sale of its Zain Africa assets to Bharti Airtel on 8 June 2010. Net income excluding capital gain reached KWD293 million, a rise of 50% year-on-year. The company’s consolidated EBITDA increased 6% to KWD616 million.
In operational terms, Zain reports that customers across its network have increased by 22.7%, to reach 37.24 million. Zain Iraq remains the firm’s largest unit by subscribers, with a customer base of 12.07 million subscribers at the end of December 2010, an increase of 24% year-on-year. Zain Saudi Arabia witnessed the largest percentage of growth in 2010, increasing its subscriber base 317% to 8.39 million. Of the firm’s remaining subsidiaries, Zain Sudan reported 10.42 million subscribers at end-2010, a rise of 100% year-on-year, whilst MTC Touch Lebanon contributed 1.50 million subscribers (up 79%). Domestic unit Zain Kuwait reached 1.87 million (up 5.7%) and Zain Jordan achieved a customer base of 2.49 million (up 6%). Only Zain Bahrain saw its subscriber base decrease year-on-year, dropping 24% to 500,000.
Asaad Al-Banwan, Chairman of Zain’s Board of Directors commented: ‘2010 was both a crucial and record year for the company as it represented a turning point in the group’s operational and strategic plans. It witnessed a series of decisions that led to the sale of the group’s 15 African mobile operations, reaping the fruits of the group’s investments on the continent and accomplishing the desired results of Zain’s successful expansion strategy embarked on back in 2003. This decision of divesting the African assets has helped the group settle its financial obligations and invest a large part of the financial gains in its main and cash generative Middle East markets where the focus will be going forward. It also highlights the significant value and wealth creation that has been provided to shareholders by the group actions. Our priority is first and foremost the interests of shareholders when making any decision’.