Kuwait's Zain Group reports robust H1 2019 results

Revenue is up by 61%.
Mr Ahmed Tahous, Zain Group chairman
Mr Ahmed Tahous, Zain Group chairman

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Zain Group is a leading mobile innovator with operations in eight markets across the Middle East and Africa. Its consolidated financial results for the six months to 30 June 2019 showed that it served 49.2 million customers at the end of the period. This reflects as a 4% increase year-on-year.

For the first six months of 2019 (H1), Zain Group consolidated a revenue of KD 811 million (USD 2.7 billion), reflecting a growth of 61% year-on-year. Its Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization (EBITDA) for the same period reached KD 354 million (USD 1.17 billion), up 109% year-on-year. Subsequently, net income amounted to KD 97.3 million (USD 321 million), up 13% year-on-year, reflecting an earnings per share of 22 Fils (USD 0.07).

The consolidation of Zain Saudi Arabia (KSA) into Zain Group that began in Q3 of 2019 contributed to an additional USD 1.1 billion in revenue and USD 506 million in EBITDA during H1 2019. Furthermore, the expansion of the 4G LTE network across key markets, the launch of 5G commercially in Kuwait and numerous data monetization initiatives saw Zain Group data revenue grow 114% year-on-year to represent 36% of the group's consolidated revenue. Adopting a new IFRS 16 accounting standard also resulted in a benefit to EDBITDA of KD 37 million (USD 121 million) and an increase in net income of KD 3.2 million (USD 11 million).

However, foreign currency translation impact, predominantly due to the 43% currency devaluation in Sudan from an average of 26.5 in H1 2018 to 46.5 in H1 2019 (SDG/USD), cost the group USD 101 million in revenue, USD 44 million in EBITDA and USD 15 million in net income.

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