Zain Saudi Arabia has recorded its first ever quarterly net profit for the three months ending March 31, 2017 amounting to SAR 45 million ($12 million), compared to net losses of SAR 250 million($67 million) in Q1, 2016 and SAR 135 million($36 million) losses in Q4 2016. Revenues grew by 9% in Q1, 2017 reaching SAR 1,919 million($511 million). EBITDA increased 49% to reach SAR 665 million($177 million).

The company recorded operational income of SAR 273 million($73 million) in Q1, 2017, compared to operational loss of SAR 32 million($8.5 million) in the same quarter of 2016. operational income increased by 212% compared to SAR 87 million($23 million) in Q4, 2016.

HH Prince Naif bin Sultan bin Mohammed bin Saud Al Kabeer, chairman of the board of directors of Zain Arabia said: “Despite the massive challenges we faced in a very competitive market, I am pleased to see the company reporting positive financial results and the first quarterly net profit ever. The results reported this quarter are attributed to the ongoing focus to the improvement of the company’s operations and the positive effect of the licence extension by an additional 15 years.”

Prince Naif added: “Zain was also chosen this quarter to execute the first high-speed (10 Mbps) Mobile Broadband project in rural areas, following submission of competitive bids to the Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC).” He also referred to how the operator is committed to bringing the most advanced technologies to the region and signed agreements with Huawei, Ericsson, and Nokia at MWC 2017.

Peter Kaliaropoulos, CEO of Zain Saudi Arabia said: “Our strategic priorities are focused on driving value and growth from our core mobile business, delivering better and consistent customer experiences and finding growth from opportunities close to our core and ones emanating from the recently awarded unified licence. We are focusing on increasing the 'share of wallet' from our customer base, reducing churn and implementing disciplined operational efficiencies to reduce expenditure. Such initiatives resulted in revenue growing by 7% and EBITDA by 36% compared to Q4 2016.

“Whilst we aspire to keep improving network quality for all our loyal customers, we will do so by selective investment in capital expenditure and working in partnership with technology companies to grow the reach and quality of the network to satisfy the ever-growing demand for faster and more reliable data experience,” he added.

The Zain brand has recently been ranked as the second most powerful home-brand in the Middle East, by London based brand valuation consultancy, Brand Finance.