Kuwait-based telecoms giant Zain Group has published its consolidated financial results for the three month period ended 30 September 2014 (Q3 2014), reporting a 6.0% annual decrease in revenues to KWD294 million (USD1.04 billion), down from the KWD313 million reported in the corresponding period of 2013. In the three months to end-September 2014, earnings before interest tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) reached KWD123.0 million, while the company booked a net profit of KWD46 million in 3Q14, a 13% decrease on the KWD60.6 million reported twelve months earlier.
The company disclosed that the recent appreciation of the US dollar against the Kuwaiti dinar and foreign currency revaluation, predominantly in the Republic of Sudan, affected earnings negatively by USD52.4 million in 3Q 2014; excluding the currency variance impact, net profits would have increased by 3.9% year-on-year in the quarter under review. As mandated by its mobile operating licence, Zain Bahrain completed an initial public offering (IPO) of 15% of its share capital on 30 September 2014 – all of the new shares were distributed on 9 October 2014.
In operational terms, Zain Group reported a marginal 1% decrease in its consolidated customer base, which reached 43.7 million at 30 September 2014. In Kuwait subscribers increased by 10% y-o-y, to 2.7 million, while Bahrain reported 4% growth in its customer base to 787,000 over the same period. Meanwhile, Iraq saw its customer base decease by 9% to 13.3 million, due to a change in the definition of ‘active customers’ implemented by the country’s regulator. Elsewhere, Sudan reported a total of 11.1 million users, down 7% y-o-y due to a SIM registration process. Further, Zain Jordan signed up a total of 4 million users, a 3% improvement on the 3.88 million figure reported in 3Q 2013.
Zain Group CEO, Scott Gegenheimer noted: ‘Despite unique circumstances and challenges in some of our key markets during the third quarter of 2014, the accumulated financial results achieved during the first nine months of the year are testament to the transformation and efficiency efforts being undertaken across all operations. Kuwait and several other key markets continue to perform well, and we are focused on further investing in and exploiting our 3G and 4G infrastructure to take advantage of the explosion of data usage by our customer base.’