Kuwait-based telecoms group Zain has published its consolidated financial results for the three months ended 30 September 2020, reporting a 1% decrease in revenues year-on-year to KWD408 million (USD1.3 billion), while EBITDA decreased 9% annually to KWD166 million. The company booked a net profit of KWD48 million in the three months under review, down 14% y-o-y. Zain claims its ‘resilient results’ were achieved despite the widespread disruption in economic and social activity; to counter the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Zain Group financials, management took decisive cost optimisation measures in areas such as contracts renegotiation, management of cashflows and loan repayments, which succeeded in reducing operational expenses by USD130 million.
In operational terms, Zain Group reported a consolidated customer base of 48.9 million at 30 September 2020, down marginally 0.4% y-o-y. In Kuwait subscribers decreased 3.7% y-o-y to 2.6 million, while the Saudi Arabian unit served 7.0 million subscribers (down from 7.7 million in Q3 2019). Zain Sudan’s subscriber base stood at 16 million at 30 June 2020, up 3.9% y-o-y. Zain Iraq, meanwhile, saw its customer base increase 1.3% y-o-y to serve 15.7 million users at end-September 2020, while the user base in Jordan contracted by 5.4% to 3.5 million.
Mr. Bader Nasser Al-Kharafi, Zain Vice-Chairman and Group CEO, commented: ‘Over the last nine months we have invested USD923 million in CAPEX including spectrum fees, expanding 5G networks in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and most recently Bahrain, as well as upgrading and expanding our 4G networks and [fibre-to the-home] FTTH services across our footprint. Such investments allow us to wisely monetize the networks and offer more innovative customer focused and B2B services to government, business, IoT, and smart city sectors. Moreover, our Group API platform continues to grow exponentially offering rich entertainment content and gaming, and we are making profitable progress in various fintech and e-health services. These initiatives are proven instrumental in countering the negative impact of the crisis to some extent with data revenue growing 9% y-o-y and now representing 41% of total revenue.’