Kuwait-based telecoms group Zain has published its consolidated financial results for the nine months ended 30 September 2019, reporting a 35% increase in revenues year-on-year to KWD1.2 billion (USD4 billion), while EBITDA increased 66% annually to KWD538 million. Zain attributed the positive developments to the consolidation of Zain Saudi Arabia, which resulted in Zain recording an additional USD1.64 billion in revenue and USD761 million in EBITDA, offsetting losses of USD141 million in revenues, USD62 million (EBITDA) and USD21 million (net income) due to 41% currency devaluation in Sudan. The company booked a net profit of KWD153 million in the nine months under review, up 12% y-o-y, mainly due to growth in net profit at Zain Kuwait (up 10% annually), Zain Saudi Arabia (net profit of USD102 million, up from a net loss of USD18 million) and Zain Iraq (up 7%).
In operational terms, Zain Group reported a consolidated customer base of 49.1 million at 30 September 2019, up 3% y-o-y. In Kuwait and Jordan subscriber numbers remained flat at 2.7 million and 3.8 million respectively, while the Saudi Arabian unit served 7.7 million subscribers (down from eight million in Q3 2018). Zain Sudan’s subscriber base stood at 15.4 million at 30 September 2019, up 8% y-o-y. Zain Iraq, meanwhile, saw its customer base increase 3% y-o-y to serve 15.5 million users at end-September 2019.
Mr. Bader Nasser Al-Kharafi, Zain Vice-Chairman and Group CEO, commented: ‘The third-quarter saw numerous milestones and was characterised by profitable growth across all key operations, indicative of the success of our digital strategy. This is highlighted by Zain Kuwait recording impressive net income levels and the soaring net income of Zain Saudi Arabia … The recent launch of 5G networks in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia is significant as it allows us to offer more innovative and compelling services to our customers across government, business, IoT, and smart city sectors, bolstering the digital economy in these areas.’