Just a couple of days after announcing 2,000 job cuts, Zain has reported a 3.3% rise in first-quarter profits to KWD 75.7 million (US$260.5 million), compared with KWD 73.3 million a year ago. Consolidated revenues jumps by 25% to KWD 567.2 million (US$1.96 billion), an increase of 25% compared to Q1 2008. Profits were held back due to costs associated with the recent launch of networks in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Ghana.
The company said that it ended the quarter with 64.7 million customers - a jump of 41% over the year.
Commenting on the results, Zain Group CEO Dr Saad Al Barrak said: "Despite the challenges imposed by the global economic crisis and the competitive markets in which we operate, these impressive first quarter results are testament to the sound management practices of the Group and a reflection of our unwavering commitment to reach our 2011 target of being a top-ten global mobile operator."
Regarding Saudi Arabia and Ghana, Dr Al Barrak commented: “Both operations have performed beyond expectations in attaining impressive customer numbers to date and we expect them to provide healthy fiscal gains in the years to come.”
Dr Al Barrak also confirmed that Zain is working on several fronts to overcome the changes in global markets such as the increasing cost of financing and the sharp volatility of currency rates, pointing out that “Zain was able to achieve realistic results despite the fact that the latter cost the company KWD 18.4 million (US$63.3 million).”