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Thu 2 May 2019 05:56 PM

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Telco Zain reports strong revenue, profit growth in Q1

Telecoms operator Zain Group says Q1 results would have been stronger but for currency fluctuations that hit Sudan unit

Telco Zain reports strong revenue, profit growth in Q1
Bader Al-Kharafi, vice-chairman and group CEO, Zain.

Telecoms operator Zain Group generated consolidated revenues of KD404 million ($1.33 billion) in the first quarter of 2019, up 56 percent compared to the same period in 2018.

Net income for the quarter reached KD47 million, up 15 percent, the company said in a statement.

It added that the results would have been stronger but for currency fluctuations relating to its Sudan unit, costing $59 million in revenue and $10 million in net income.

The consolidation of Zain Saudi Arabia into Zain Group resulted in an additional $559 million in revenue during the quarter, it noted, adding that group data revenue saw a 118 percent growth in Q1, representing 37 percent of total revenue.

The three-month period also saw a 77 percent increase in net income in Zain Iraq, net profit growth of 11 percent by Zain Kuwait and 55 percent by Zain Bahrain, with Zain Sudan continuing to perform "exceptionally well".

Chairman Ahmed Al Tahous said: “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.”

Bader Al-Kharafi, vice-chairman and group CEO, added: “Given the sweeping technological developments in the ICT sector and challenging regulatory environment, the management teams across all operations are being dynamic in their transformational and digitization efforts.

"This has resulted in sound operational progress and the reporting of robust results in key markets, highlighted by the vastly improving profitability in our home market of Kuwait and even more impressively in our Bahrain, Iraq and Saudi Arabia operations.”

He said: “It is unfortunate that the unavoidable currency devaluation in Sudan continues to impact our results, however we draw confidence on this particular issue as we have recently seen the currency appreciate.”

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