Leading mobile telecom Zain Group reported a seven percent drop in its Q3 net income, mainly due to Sudanese currency’s devaluation.
The telco said its efficiency drive has maintains EBITDA margin at 40% for Q3 and revenues reached KD 767 million (USD 2.5 billion) with net income of KD 122 million ($404 million) for the first nine months of 2017.
The consolidated data revenues represent 25% of total Group revenue, and the third quarter of 2017 highlighted a 10% net income growth in Kuwait due to robust customer growth of 16% in Iraq, healthy revenue and data growth in Saudi Arabia and Jordan, plus Sudan continuing to perform exceptionally well in local currency terms.
“The acquisition of treasury shares by Omantel brought immediate tangible benefit and so will the imminent sale of our telecom towers in Kuwait," said Bader Nasser Al-Kharafi, Zain Vice-Chairman and Group CEO, adding both transactions will enhance the company’s financial flexibility as it seeks opportunities in the digital space.
For the first nine months of 2017, foreign currency translation impact cost the company $441 million in revenue and $76 million in net income.
Al-Kharafi said the company continues to undertake transformational programs across all markets and has seen operational progress on multiple data monetisation as well as smart city and Enterprise (B2B) initiatives which are fast-growing and profitable business areas.
He noted that while these areas continue to grow the Sudanese currency’s devaluation has impacted overall results for the quarter and year-to-date.
“Nevertheless, we draw confidence from the future prosperity of Sudan given the recent lifting of the US sanctions and expected appreciation of the country’s currency,” Al-Kharafi said.
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