Kuwait-based telecoms group Zain has published its consolidated financial results for the year ended 31 December 2015, reporting a 6% annual decrease in revenues to KWD1.14 billion (USD3.78 billion), down from the KWD1.21 billion reported in the corresponding period of 2014. The company disclosed that the slump was mainly due to the recent appreciation of the US dollar against the Kuwaiti dinar, which affected revenues negatively by USD218 million in 2015. EBITDA declined to KWD499 million (down 2% year-on-year) in the period under review, while the company booked a net profit of KWD154 million in 2015, a 21% decrease on the profit reported twelve months earlier. Zain disclosed that additional amortisation on Zain Iraq’s 3G licence fee and Zain Jordan’s additional 3G and newly acquired 4G spectrum licence fees impacted the bottom line by USD52 million. CAPEX for the year meanwhile amounted to USD797 million (excluding Saudi Arabia), down 10% y-o-y from USD881 million in 2014, despite ‘heavy investments’ in 3G and 4G network expansion upgrades.
In operational terms, Zain Group reported a 3% increase in its consolidated customer base, which reached 45.6 million at 31 December 2015. In Kuwait subscribers increased by 9% year-on-year, to 2.9 million, while Saudi Arabia contributed 11.9 million users to the total subscriber base, equivalent to 32% y-o-y growth. Elsewhere, Zain Jordan signed up a total of 4.1 million users, a 6% improvement compared to 2014.