Kuwait-based telecoms group Zain has published its consolidated financial results for the three months ended 31 March 2019, reporting a 56% increase in revenues year-on-year to KWD404 million (USD1.33 billion), while EBITDA increased 111% annually to KWD178 million. Zain disclosed that the positive developments were due to the consolidation of Zain Saudi Arabia, which resulted in Zain recording an additional USD559 million in revenue and USD255 million in EBITDA, offsetting losses of USD59 million in revenues, USD27 million (EBITDA) and USD10 million (net income) due to 48% currency devaluation in Sudan. The company booked a net profit of KWD47 million in the three months under review, up 15% y-o-y, mainly due to growth in net profit in Zain Iraq (up 77%) and Zain Bahrain (55%).
In operational terms, Zain Group reported a consolidated customer base of 50 million at 31 March 2019, up 6% y-o-y. In Kuwait subscriber numbers reached 2.6 million (down from 2.8 million in 1Q18), while Jordan saw its customer base decrease to 3.7 million (down from 3.8 million). Zain Sudan’s subscriber base stood at 15.1 million at 31 March 2019, up 9% y-o-y. Zain Iraq, meanwhile, served 16 million users at end-March 2019, with 1.5 million net additions over twelve months.
Ahmed Al Tahous, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Zain Group, commented: ‘The impressive first quarter 2019 results were achieved through the Board’s and Executive Management’s focus on implementation of the digital transformation strategy that has seen substantial investments in network upgrades, fibre-optics and 5G readiness. These initiatives have been aimed at diversifying income sources primarily from digital-related areas and at the same time improve customer experience. We will continue driving cost optimisation initiatives to improve the efficiency of the operations and seek new lucrative opportunities in driving the business forward and increasing shareholder value.’