Zain Saudi, Saudi Arabia's third-largest telecoms operator, reported a narrowing loss for the third quarter on Sunday, missing analysts' forecasts, as its customer base rose by nearly a quarter.
It said in a bourse statement it made a net loss of SR421m ($112 million) in the three months to Sept. 30, compared with a net loss of SR493m a year ago.
Five analysts polled by Reuters on average had forecast Zain Saudi would make a quarterly loss of SR339m.
The company has yet to make a quarterly profit since launching operations in 2008, but has taken significant steps to ease its debt burden this year, in July extending a $2.3 billion Islamic loan facility at a lower profit rate.
It also agreed a deal with the government in June that would allow it to defer payment of licence-related fees, which could total around $1.49 billion over seven years, and appointed industry veteran Hassan Kabbani as chief executive in September.
Quarterly revenue rose by 7 percent to SR1.57bn from SR1.53bn a year ago. The company attributed its better performance to the 24 percent growth of its customer base and a 37 percent jump in data traffic.
Zain Saudi added in its statement that it had reduced its operating expenses by 22 percent compared to a year ago.For all the latest tech news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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