Kuwait-based telecoms giant Zain Group has published its consolidated financial results for the six month period ended 30 June 2015 (H1 2015), reporting a 10% annual decrease in revenues to KWD562 million (USD1.9 billion), down from the KWD612 million reported in the corresponding period of 2014. In the six months to end-June 2015, EBITDA reached KWD241 million, while the company booked a net profit of KWD80 million in 1H15, a 30% decrease on the profit reported twelve months earlier.
The company disclosed that the recent appreciation of the US dollar against the Kuwaiti dinar affected revenues negatively by USD57 million in 1H 2015. As mandated by its mobile operating licence, Zain Iraq completed an initial public offering (IPO) of 25% of its share capital on 23 June 2015. However, the company added that the continued social instability in Iraq and heightened levels of competition severely impacted the group’s overall key financial metrics.
In operational terms, Zain Group reported a 4.3% decrease in its consolidated customer base, which reached 46.3 million at 30 June 2015. In Kuwait subscribers increased by 20.8% year-on-year, to 2.9 million, while Bahrain reported 4.0% growth in its customer base to 801,000 over the same period. Meanwhile, Iraq saw its customer base decease by 7.9% to 12.8 million, due to a change in the definition of ‘active customers’ implemented by the country’s regulator, while Saudi Arabia contributed 11.3 million users to the total subscriber base, equivalent to 25% y-o-y growth. Elsewhere, Zain Jordan signed up a total of 3.9 million users, a 2.0% improvement compared to June 2014.
Zain Group CEO, Scott Gegenheimer noted: ‘We will continue to focus on and invest in our key markets to drive growth and efficiency and we remain focused on further exploiting our state-of-the-art 3G and 4G infrastructure and concentrating on new sources of incremental revenue in the digital space including enterprise services such as smart cities and [machine-to-machine] M2M services, embracing the areas of future value realisation within the telecoms sector.’