Kuwait-based telecoms giant Zain Group has published its consolidated financial results for the six-month period ended 30 June 2016, reporting a 2% annual decrease in revenues to KWD552 million (USD1.83 billion). In the period under review, EBITDA reached KWD255 million (up 6% year-on-year), while the company booked a net profit of KWD82 million in 1H15, a 2% increase on the profit reported twelve months earlier.
The company disclosed that it incurred foreign currency variance losses amounting to USD57 million in H1 2016, a USD15 million increase on the USD42 million reported in the same period of 2015, predominantly attributed to its operations in Iraq and Sudan. The company added that the implementation of a new 20% sales tax on mobile services in Iraq from 1 August 2015, in addition to the continued social instability in the country and heightened levels of competition severely impacted the group’s overall key financial metrics.
In operational terms, Zain Group reported a 2% decrease in its consolidated customer base, which reached 45.2 million at 30 June 2016. In Kuwait, Zain’s subscribers base remained flat, at 2.9 million, while Zain Sudan reported 7% growth in its customer base to 12.5 million over the same period. Zain Sudan launched the country’s first 4G LTE service in April 2016, thus becoming the sixth Zain operation to commercially introduce the technology. Meanwhile, Iraq saw its customer base decease 12% to 11.2 million, due to a change in the definition of ‘active customers’ implemented by the country’s regulator. Elsewhere, Zain Jordan signed up a total of 4.1 million users, a 3% improvement compared to June 2015, while Saudi Arabia contributed 10.7 million users to the total subscriber base.