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Wed 12 Oct 2011 06:05 PM

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Zain Saudi says net loss narrows during Q3

Telecom operator delivers upbeat message just a day after chief executive resigns

Zain Saudi says net loss narrows during Q3
GCC telecoms

Telco Zain Saudi on Wednesday said third-quarter net loss narrowed as call volumes increased.

The operator made a net loss of SR484m ($129m) in the third quarter, compared with SR544m a year earlier, the company said in a statement.

Prince Hussam bin Saud bin Abdul Aziz, chairman of Zain Saudi, said: "The financial results for the period reflect the company's ability to continue to grow and achieve record financial levels in accordance with the ambitious targets and strategic plans set when the company commenced commercial operations, despite the very competitive and saturated market conditions."

He added that the quarter had seen many achievements, notably the launch of 4G LTE high-speed internet technology in the kingdom.

The chairman also said the company was "winning the race to reach all its goals, and is expected to surpass all previous landmarks".

On Tuesday, Saad al-Barrak quit as chief executive and was replaced by a US-educated veteran from its Kuwait parent Zain, two weeks after a proposed deal to sell 25-percent stake in the Saudi operator fell through.

"The decrease in net loss is due to the sizable expansion in company's customer base, noticeable rise in calls volume, and the increased demand of broadband services within the company's own network," the statement said.

The latest results means Zain Saudi's accumulated losses now stand at about SR9.2bn. It must complete a capital restructuring to alleviate these losses and comply with Saudi bourse rules.

Zain Saudi shares have fallen 23 percent year-to-date.

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