Kuwait-based telecoms giant Zain Group has published its consolidated financial results for the first half of the year (ended 30 June 2017), reporting revenues of KWD508 million (USD1.7 billion), down 8% year-on-year, while EBITDA decreased 17% annually to reach KWD212 million. The company booked a net profit of KWD82 million in the six months under review, unchanged from the KWD82 million reported in the corresponding period of 2016. Zain disclosed that it incurred foreign currency losses amounting to USD58 million in net income, USD305 million in revenue and USD131 million in EBITDA for the six-month period to 30 June, predominantly due to a 61% currency devaluation in Sudan. Excluding the currency translation impact, revenues and net income would have grown by 8% y-o-y, while EBITDA would have increased by 21% annually. Further, intense price competition in Kuwait coupled with additional operational costs in network expansion and upgrades severely impacted the operation and consequently Zain Group’s overall financial metrics.
In operational terms, Zain Group reported a consolidated customer base of 45.2 million at 30 June 2017, unchanged y-o-y. In Kuwait subscriber numbers reached 2.6 million, while Jordan and Sudan saw customer base increases to 4.3 million (up 3% y-o-y) and 12.9 million (3%), respectively. Zain Saudi Arabia’s subscriber base, meanwhile, decreased 15% to nine million in Q2 2017 as a result of the government’s biometric identification project, while Zain Iraq served 12.9 million users at that date, up 15% y-o-y from 11.2 million in 2Q16.