Friday, January 9, 2009
Zain Forecasts 30% Profit Growth This Year
Leading Africa and Middle East mobile operator Zain expects net profit to rise by at least than 30 percent in 2009. The firm's CEO Saad al-Barrak told al-Watan newspaper that EBITDA would rise by around 40 percent this year. Reuters reported that a spokesman for Zain, which operates in 22 countries in the Middle East and Africa, confirmed the comments. In October, Zain, which operates in 22 countries in the Middle East and Africa, said it expected 2009 net profit to rise to around KWD 413 million, or by about 30 percent, buoyed by its overseas expansion strategy. Zain's financial situation is very healthy despite the global financial crisis, Barrak was quoted in the newspaper, adding the firm had paid back obligations worth USD 1.8 billion in December. This represents about 25-30 percent of the company's total debt, he told the paper. Zain sees its customer base rising to more than 94 million at the end of 2009, up from 64 million last year. For 2009, Zain would have a cash flow of USD 5 billion, Barrak said, without giving a comparison for last year.