Zain Saudi Arabia, a subsidiary of Kuwait-based telco Zain Group, has published its consolidated financial results for the nine months ended 30 September 2014 (9M 2014), reporting a 1.6% growth in gross profit year-on-year to SAR2.406 billion (USD641.28 million), up from SAR2.368 billion in the corresponding period of 2013. The operator incurred net losses of SAR963 million during the period under review, a figure which represents a 19.01% annual improvement on the SAR1.189 billion loss reported for the nine months to end-September 2013. Earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) for the nine-month period also increased, by SAR140 million (or 21% year-on-year), to SAR825 million.
The company disclosed that its performance in Q3 2014 fell short of its approved business plan and that it was also below one of its loan covenants; Zain Saudi stated, however, that it has met with financing banks in order to address the issues. ‘The company management believes that the above matters are temporary in nature and the company will be successful in meeting its obligations in normal course of operations’, it said.
In operational terms, Zain Saudi reported that its internet service subscribers increased by 145% in the twelve months to end-September 2014, while internet data traffic also increased, by 541% year-on-year.