February 24, 2021 telecom

Zain Group's 2020 revenue hits $5.3bn, net income down 10pc


Zain Group, a leading mobile telecom innovator in seven markets across the Middle East and Africa, has registered a consolidated revenue of KD1.63 billion ($5.3 billion) for 2020, reflecting a 2% Year-on-Year (Y-o-Y) decline, while consolidated ebitda for the period declined by 8% Y-o-Y, to reach KD673 million ($2.2 billion), reflecting a healthy ebitda margin of 41%.

Announcing the consolidated financial results for the full-year 2020, and fourth quarter ended December 31, Zain Group said its consolidated net income plunged 15% to KD185 million ($605 million) reflecting earnings per share of 43 Fils ($0.14).

For the full-year, foreign currency translation impact, mainly due to the 16% currency devaluation in Sudan from an average of 45.6 to 54.4 (SDG / USD), cost the Group $110 million in revenue, $50 million in ebitda and $16 million in net income.

Commenting on the results, Group Chairman Ahmed Al Tahous said: 'Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the group’s key focus has been on providing meaningful connectivity and implementing more digitalization initiatives to better serve communities, businesses and governments, aiming to lessen the impact of the pandemic on society.'.

Impressed with results, the board has recommended a cash dividend of 33 fils per share for 2020, adhering to the group’s commitment made last year of a minimum 33 fils dividend for 3 years. This is subject to the annual general assembly and statutory approvals.

Giving an operational review of key markets for the 12-month period, Zain said in Kuwait, the group’s flagship operation saw its customer base serve 2.6 million, while maintaining its market leadership on all levels.

It remains the group’s most profitable operation with revenue for 2020 reaching KD321 million ($1.05 billion), ebitda reaching KD 112 million ($367 million), representing an ebitda margin of 35%. Net income reached KD 76 million ($248 million), with data revenue accounting for 38% of total revenue.

On Saudi Arabia, Zain KSA generated revenue of SR7.92 billion ($2.1 billion), ebitda for the period reached SR3.44 billion ($918 million), reflecting an ebitda margin of 43%. Net income reached SAR 260 million ($69 million).

Data revenue grew by 8% Y-o-Y and represents 50% of total revenue with the operator serving 7.0 million customers, he added.

On Bahrain, Zain said it had generated revenue of $164 million, while ebitda for the year increased by 2%, to reach $57 million, reflecting an ebitda margin of 34%. Net income amounted to $14 million, up 3% Y-o-Y.

With the soft launch of 5G services mid-2020 and monetization initiatives, data revenue grew 7%, representing 51% of total revenue.

Vice-Chairman and Group CEO Bader Al Kharafi said: 'Our performance for 2020 reflects the reality of the pandemic’s disruption on economic-social activity and the unavoidable impact it had on the financial results. The board and management are working closely together in minimizing this impact across our footprint with a particular focus on driving efficiencies, cost optimization and monetizing our 4G and 5G networks.'

'Our 4Sight strategy is taking shape, building on our many strengths while seeking new value-creating business verticals that support our vision of becoming a leading ICT and digital lifestyle provider,' he added.

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