Kuwait-based telecoms group Zain has published its consolidated financial results for the nine months ended 30 September 2018, reporting an 18% increase in revenues year-on-year to KWD906 million (USD3 billion), while EBITDA increased 3% annually to KWD324 million. Zain disclosed that the positive developments were due to the consolidation of Zain Saudi Arabia, which resulted in Zain Group recording an additional USD521 million in revenues and USD194 million in EBITDA. The company booked a net profit of KWD137 million in the nine months under review, up 12% year-on-year.
In operational terms, Zain Group reported a consolidated customer base of 47.8 million at 30 September 2018, up 5% y-o-y. In Kuwait subscriber numbers reached 2.7 million (up 6% y-o-y), while Jordan saw its customer base decrease to 3.8 million (down from 4.2 million). Zain Saudi Arabia’s subscriber base stood at eight million at end-September 2018, down from 8.3 million a year earlier, as a result of the government’s biometric identification project (which reduced the number of pre-paid SIMs to two per ID). Zain Iraq served 15 million users at end-September 2018, with nearly 1.3 million net additions over twelve months, while Sudan’s customer base increased 10% y-o-y to 14.3 million.
Group CEO Bader Al-Kharafi said: ‘The third-quarter witnessed numerous milestones that included the value accretive consolidation of Zain Saudi Arabia, the ongoing revival of Zain Iraq on multiple levels, and the robust revenue growth in our data monetisation programmes, Enterprise (B2B), cloud services, as well as smart city initiatives in key markets, particularly Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. We are strategically transforming ourselves from being a pure telecoms provider to a digital services provider … It is our focus on innovation and seeking new revenue streams, upgrading our networks to be 5G-ready and driving efficiencies that allows us to consistently deliver strong operational results, maintain our leadership position in most markets and enhancing shareholder value.’