Kuwait-based telecoms giant Zain Group has published its consolidated financial results for the first quarter of the year (ended 31 March 2016), reporting flat revenues of KWD277 million (USD925 million). In the three months under review, EBITDA reached KWD123 million, up 5% year-on-year, while the company booked a net profit of KWD37 million in Q1 2016, down 9% from the KWD41 million reported in the previous year. The company disclosed that it incurred foreign currency losses amounting to USD35 million for the three-month period to 31 March, a ‘substantial’ increase from the USD7 million reported for the same period in 2015, predominantly in Sudan and Iraq. Further, the continued political instability in Iraq and the newly introduced 20% tax on mobile services in the market severely impacted its operations and the group’s overall key financial indicators.
In operational terms, Zain Group reported a consolidated customer base of 45.5 million at 31 March 2016, down from 46.1 million reported in Q1 2015. In Kuwait subscribers increased remained flat, at 2.9 million, while Jordan saw its customer base increase by 5% y-o-y to four million. Zain Saudi Arabia’s subscriber base, meanwhile, increased by 9% to 11.5 million in Q1 2016.