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Zain Group, the leading mobile telecom innovator in eight markets across the Middle East and Africa, announces its consolidated financial results for the third quarter (Q3) and nine-month periods (9M) ended 30 September, 2019. The company ended the period serving 49.1 million customers, reflecting a 3% year-on-year (Y-o-Y) increase.

Group Key Performance Indicators (KD and USD) for the first nine months (9M) 2019

Consolidated Revenue
KD 1.2 billion -  USD 4.0 billion up 35%
EBITDA
KD 538 million -  USD 1.8 billion up 66%
EBITDA Margin
44%  
Net Income
KD 153 million -  USD 504 million   up 12%
EPS
35 fils -  USD 0.12  

For 9M 2019, Zain Group generated consolidated revenue of KD 1.2 billion (USD 4.0 billion), up 35% Y-o-Y, while consolidated EBITDA for the period reached KD 538 million (USD 1.8 billion), up 66% Y-o-Y, reflecting a healthy EBITDA margin of 44%. Consolidated net income amounted to KD 153 million (USD 504 million), reflecting a 12% Y-o-Y increase. Earnings per share amounted to 35 fils (USD 0.12) for the nine-month period.

For 9M 2019, foreign currency translation impact, predominantly due to the 41% currency devaluation in Sudan from an average of 27.1 in 9M 2018 to 46.0 in 9M 2019 (SDG / USD), cost the Group USD 141 million in revenue, USD 62 million in EBITDA and USD 21 million in net income.

Group Key Performance Indicators (Kuwaiti Dinars (KD) & USD) for Q3 2019

Consolidated Revenue
KD 411 million - USD 1.4 billion up 2%
EBITDA
KD 183 million - USD 603 million up 18%  
EBITDA Margin
45%
Net Income
KD 56 million   - USD 183 million up 10%
EPS
13 fils - USD 0.04     

In Q3’19, Zain Group generated consolidated revenue of KD 411 million (USD 1.4 billion), up 2% Y-o-Y in KD terms. EBITDA for the quarter reached KD 183 million (USD 603 million), an increase of 18% Y-o-Y, reflecting a 45% EBITDA margin. Net income for the three months amounted to KD 56 million (USD 183 million), showing a 10% increase Y-o-Y. Earnings Per Share for Q3 reached 13 fils (USD 0.04).

In Q3’19, foreign currency translation impact, predominantly due to the 38% currency devaluation in Sudan from an average of 28.1 in Q3’18 to 45.0 in Q3’19 (SDG / USD), cost the company USD 42 million in revenue, USD 19 million in EBITDA and USD 5 million in net income.  

Commenting on the performance to date, the chairman of the board of directors of Zain Group, Ahmed Al Tahous said, “Impressive growth in key financial metrics for the Q3 and 9M periods of 2019 are primarily a result of the heavy investment we have undertaken in expanding our 4G and 5G networks, to enhance customer experience and increase market share. Given the many challenging socio-economic market conditions across our footprint, the Board is working closely with the management in dealing with these and seeking new lucrative opportunities in the ICT sector.”

Bader Nasser Al-Kharafi, Zain vice-chairman and Group CEOcommented,“The third-quarter saw numerous milestones and was characterized by profitable growth across all key operations, indicative of the success of our digital strategy. This is highlighted by Zain Kuwait recording impressive net income levels and the soaring net income of Zain Saudi Arabia. Moreover, robust revenue growth in our data monetization programs, Enterprise (B2B), cloud services, as well as smart city initiatives in key markets are areas of the business that we will continue to foster, both in individual and enterprise segments.”

Al-Kharafi continued, “The recent launch of 5G networks in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia is significant as it allows us to offer more innovative and compelling services to our customers across government, business, IoT, and smart city sectors, bolstering the digital economy in these areas. 5G technology will create vast opportunities in the value chain proposition in numerous industries and will push the telecom sector to a new and exciting phase of growth. Zain is mobilizing all its resources to capitalize on this enormous opportunity in creating shareholder value.”

Al-Kharafi also touched upon the company’s progress in the area of Fintech stating, “Our focus on exploring new lucrative areas of growth in the Fintech arena saw several major milestones including the launch of the Taman platform in Saudi Arabia, which made Zain the first telecom operator in the region to offer micro-financing to customers. Zain also entered into an agreement with Boubyan Bank in Kuwait to launch a digital platform for Islamic banking services, marking the first digital partnership of this nature in the region. In addition, the volume of Zain Cash transactions in Jordan and Iraq continues to grow exponentially, reinforced recently by the agreement with UNHCR and IrisGuard to implement iris technology for cash disbursements to refugees in Iraq.”

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