Kuwaiti Telco Zain's Q1 Profit Up 2%
Published Saturday, 16 June 2012 14:02 | Written by Amwal Al Ghad
Kuwait's Zain reported a 2 percent rise in quarterly profit on Monday, in line with analysts' estimates, and the telecoms operator said it had won over new customers and improved its operations in Iraq.
Zain, which operates in seven countries, made a first-quarter net profit of KWD70.9m (US$255m) in the three months to March 31, up from KWD69.9m in the same period a year ago.
Analysts forecast average profit of KWD72m, according to a Reuters poll.
"The local, regional and international markets continue to suffer from the global financial crisis, which imposes more challenges on the group's operations," Chairman Asaad al-Banwan said in a statement.
"Yet in spite of this, Zain has managed to maintain encouraging growth rates during this difficult period."
Quarterly revenue was KWD326m, up from KWD324.4m dinars in the first quarter of 2011 while active customers were up 7 percent.
In March, Banwan said the group's 2012 profits would likely be equal or higher to 2011.
The Zain group restructured a US$433m syndicated short term loan into a syndicated revolving long term loan during the quarter. Its Sudanese unit also repaid a €220m loan, eliminating the group's largest exposure to the ailing common currency.
Shares in Zain, which has mobile licences in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Lebanon, Sudan, Iraq and Jordan, closed at KWD0.73 on Monday.