KUWAIT — Zain Group, the pioneer in mobile telecommunications in eight markets across the Middle East and North Africa, reported Monday revenue of $2.4 billion and net profit of $510 million in the first half of 2012.
The results reflected a stable performance year-on-year in the face of a challenging industry and global economic environments.
For the first half of 2012, Zain Group generated consolidated revenues of KD663.5 million ($2.384 billion), reflecting around 1 percent increase over the same period of H1 2011.
The net income witnessed an increase of 1 percent year-on-year to reach KD141.9 million ($509.6 million). The Group’s consolidated EBITDA reached KD299 million ($1.074 billion) up 2 percent over the same period of last year, and reflected an EBITDA margin of 45.1 percent (up 0.6 pp). The earnings per share reached 36 fils ($0.13).
Year-on-year customer growth across all Zain operations was almost 5 percent, with the Group serving 41.4 million active customers as of 30 June, 2012.
Commenting on the results, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Zain Group, Asaad Al Banwan said: "The Group’s consolidated revenues for H1 2012 grew around 1 percent as compared to the same period in 2011, which is a positive outcome given the challenging environment in the sector. The increase in consolidated revenues to KD663.5 million ($2.384 billion), up around 1 percent year-on-year, highlights Zain’s ability to sustain a high level of performance despite substantial competitive pressures and currency fluctuations in many of the markets in which it operates."
Al Banwan also noted that: "A growing number of customers continue to benefit from utilizing Zain’s services, with 1.8 million customers added in the 12 months to 30 June, 2012, representing almost 5 percent growth rate. Our strategy is focused on achieving greater leadership across all our operations, and we remain determined to provide the latest technology along with high quality services to our customers."
Zain Group CEO Nabeel Bin Salamah said: "Zain continues to be a pioneer in the markets in which it operates despite competitive, economic, and political pressures in many of our countries of operation. We are facing these challenges head-on, having reduced our funding costs, as well as continuing with our policy to actively reduce administrative and operational expenses."
Bin Salamah continued: "Our operations achieved great success in data services during H1, 2012 due to a favorable series of expansion and development programs that were launched last year and have since gained traction. Mobile broadband and data transfer remain definite growth areas for Zain Group and we intend to continue investing in these areas in order to meet customer expectations while also increasing shareholder value."
Bin Salamah pointed out that there will be greater emphasis placed on data due to pent-up demand for such services, particularly in light of the growth in the usage of smartphones.
Detailing developments within its operation in Saudi Arabia, Bin Salamah said: "Zain KSA is witnessing a radical shift given the successful completion of its rights issue, where the Group increased its stake in the company from 25 percent to 37 percent. Our faith and confidence in Zain KSA remains high, and we remain optimistic regarding the company’s prospects in the future."
Bin Salamah further said: "Zain KSA’s capital restructuring is going to be a major factor in boosting its operational and financial performance and its relationship with Zain Group will definitely become stronger resulting in more intense continued support for its new operational strategy." — SG