Zain Saudi narrows Q3 net loss, misses view
Dubai, October 27, 2013
Zain Saudi, the third-largest telecoms operator in Saudi Arabia, has reported a narrowing loss for the third quarter on Sunday, missing analysts' forecasts, as its customer base rose by nearly a quarter.
It said in a bourse statement it made a net loss of SR421 million ($112 million) in the three months to September 30, compared with a net loss of SR493 million a year ago.
Five analysts polled by Reuters on average had forecast Zain Saudi would make a quarterly loss of SR339 million.
The company has yet to make a quarterly profit since launching operations in 2008, but has taken significant steps to ease its debt burden this year, in July extending a $2.3 billion Islamic loan facility at a lower profit rate.
It also agreed a deal with the government in June that would allow it to defer payment of licence-related fees, which could total around $1.49 billion over seven years, and appointed industry veteran Hassan Kabbani as chief executive in September.
Quarterly revenue rose by 7 per cent to SR1.57 billion from SR1.53 billion a year ago. The company attributed its better performance to the 24 per cent growth of its customer base and a 37 per cent jump in data traffic.
Zain Saudi added in its statement that it had reduced its operating expenses by 22 per cent compared to a year ago.-Reuters