Zain Saudi Arabia, a subsidiary of Kuwait-based telco Zain Group, has published its consolidated financial results for the six months ended 30 June 2014 (H1 2014), reporting a 22% growth in revenues year-on-year to SAR564 million (USD150.39million), up from SAR464 million in 1H13. The operator incurred net losses of SAR329 million during the period under review, a figure which represents an 11% annual improvement on the SAR370 million loss reported in June 2013. Earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) for the period under review also increased, by SAR100 million (or 22% year-on-year), to SAR564 million, due to the company’s ‘transformation programme’, which focuses on cost optimisation in sales, distribution and marketing expenses.
In operational terms, Zain Saudi reported that its customer base increased by 9% to 9.055 million users in the twelve months to end-June 2014, with the majority of net additions signing up for an ‘internet service’ (up by 107% year-on-year); internet data traffic also increased, by 574% year-on-year. The number of network sites reached a total of 6,113 in 2Q14; Zain’s 2G footprint remained at 93% of the population, while 3G population coverage was reported at 85% (up from 80%). LTE networks were available to 52% of Saudi Arabia’s territory, compared to 46% at end-June 2013.