Kuwait-based telecoms giant Zain Group has announced its consolidated financial results for the three months ended 30 June 2014 (Q2 2014), reporting a 3.0% annual increase in revenues to KWD316 million (USD1.12 billion), up from the KWD313 million reported in the corresponding period of 2013. Consolidated data revenues (excluding SMS and value added services [VAS]) witnessed healthy 21% growth in the year to end-June 2014, with data now constituting 15% of total service revenues. In the period under review, EBITDA reached KWD113.0 million, while the company booked a net profit of KWD59 million in 2Q14, a 2% decrease on the KWD60.6 million reported twelve months earlier.
In operational terms, Zain Group reported 5% growth in its consolidated customer base, which reached 46.5 million at 30 June 2014, equivalent to over two million net additions in the twelve months under review. In Kuwait subscribers increased by 6% y-o-y, to 2.6 million, while Bahrain reported 3% growth in its customer base to 768,000 over the same period. Iraq saw its customer base grow by 16% to 16.1 million, despite the deteriorating security conditions in the country that have resulted in the operator temporarily closing parts of its voice and data network in recent months. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia contributed 9.06 million users to the total subscriber base, equivalent to 9% annual growth. Elsewhere, Sudan reported a total of 11.42 million users, while customers in South Sudan decreased by 15% to reach 645,000. Further, Lebanese operator Touch, which Zain Group manages on behalf of the government, signed up a total of 2.1 million users, after Zain secured another extension to its management contract in the country.
Zain Group CEO, Scott Gegenheimer noted: ‘The financial results achieved during the first half of the year reflect the transformation efforts being made across all operations to improve and develop the company’s strategy of focusing on customer experience and operational efficiency. Several key markets continue to perform well and we are focused on further exploiting our state-of-the-art infrastructure and focusing on new sources of incremental revenue including digital services, which have been growing at an impressive rate.’