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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Zain consolidates growth in third quarter

Leading mobile telecommunication operator in Africa and the Middle East, Zain Group has announced the consolidation of its financial results for the third quarter of 2008, indicating significant growth in revenues, net profit and subscriber base, with exponential growth in Nigeria.

Currently in 22 countries, Zain Group said, for the third quarter of 2008, it recorded consolidated revenues of US$1.887 billion, and an increase of 25 per cent compared to Q3-2007.

Zain said that its Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization (EBITDA) increased by 20 per cent for the same period to reach US$ 763.6 million while consolidated net profits reached US$ 326.6 million, an increase of 7 per cent on Q3-2007 profits.

Zain Group’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Saad Al-Barrak said that this quarter has been both the most challenging and most rewarding in Zain’s corporate history since the launch of its profitable expansion strategy in 2003.

"Thereby, laying the foundation for our 2011 targets of being a top-10 global telecommunications company," he said.

In addition, he said that despite financial turmoil across the globe, Zain was delighted to have succeeded in raising US$ 4.5 billion through its capital increase.
"Additionally the launch of services in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been very successful given we have acquired one million customers in less than two months notwithstanding the fierce competition in that market," he said.

The ground-breaking ‘One Network’ service, he said, now linking two continents is playing a pivotal role in customer acquisition, contributing to the success of the Saudi Arabia launch as well as in the other 15 operations where it is available.

"The Zain brand has been warmly received across the African continent since its explosive launch on August 1, 2008 . Through one brand, we will be better positioned to offer our customers common state-of-the-art products and services such as ‘One Network,’" Dr Al Barrak said.

He recalled that in recent years, Zain has invested heavily in both license acquisitions and network upgrades on two continents so as to meet its 2011 targets of 150 million customers and US$ 6 billion EBITDA.

"Nevertheless, we continue to record impressive financial results this quarter reflecting exceptional operational efficiencies and we expect even better results in the years ahead. Our Kuwait operation continues to contribute considerably to our net profit and our team is focused on strategies to contest the 3rd mobile entrant expected later in 2008," he declared.

Stressing that its Bahrain operation has continued to be exceeding all targets, while the operations in Iraq , Jordan and Sudan maintained their respective markets share in competitive and challenging environments.

"The integration of the acquired Iraqi operation in Iraq has been successfully completed and we expect to reap the rewards in the not so distance future" he said.
In Africa, Dr. Al Barrak singled out Nigeria and said its operation in the country is witnessing exponential customer growth based on the heavy investment in network upgrades and expansion.

"We are extremely excited by the future potential in all facets of this operation. In East Africa, our Madagascar, Tanzania and Uganda operations focus on customer acquisition is paying off, all three recording impressive results. We expect our revamped Kenyan operation to follow suit as the new management team is now totally geared to the challenges ahead with concerted Zain Group support on all fronts. Our Ghana operation will commence mobile services by the end of 2008,” he said.


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