Zain Saudi Arabia has reported its first ever full-year net profit, amounting to $3.2 million for the period ending 31 December 2017. This is a milestone achievement for the company since the commencement of commercial operations in August 2008.
The success is attributable Zain KSA’s focus on the growth of data services, leveraging the operator’s advanced 4.5G LTE network, ongoing focus on higher value customer acquisitions, prudent cost optimization and operational efficiencies, network investment in advanced technologies and the effect of the 15-year license extension.
Total revenues of $1.9 billion were achieved despite a significant decline in international revenues amounting to $184 million in 2017 primarily due to the impact of VOIP and lower number of prepaid customers. The decline was partially mitigated by growth in revenues derived from mobile broadband, post-paid voice and data packages and, growth in enterprise business.
Gross profits grew by 11.6% over the previous year to reach $1,310 million in 2017, Gross profit margin at 67% also improved compared to 64% in the previous year.
A much-improved operational profit of $240 million was recorded for 2017, compared to an operational loss of $14.4 million in 2016.
For the 12 months in 2017, Zain Saudi Arabia recorded net profit of $3.2 million, up substantially from a loss of $261 million for the same period in 2016.
Commenting on the impressive full year results, Zain Group Vice-Chairman and CEO; and Vice-Chairman of Zain Saudi Arabia Bader Al-Kharafi, said: “The strong performance in all key financial indicators and notably the net profit that reflected a SAR 1 billion turnaround is attributed to the disciplined execution of our strategy to increase monetisation of data and digital services and ongoing focus on the improvement of the company’s operations and prudent efficiencies and optimization of its cost structure. Investment in 4.5G Advanced mobile network technology and increased customer centricity and care equally contributed to best-ever performance
“Zain Saudi for the first time since launch delivered positive financial results based on healthy revenue growth, better margins and improved quality of service. It is an impressive outcome in the context of a very competitive market with fewer overall subscribers in 2017 and general decline in industry revenues” commented Al Kharafi.
“We also remain deeply committed to customers living in every part of the Kingdom and to expanding high speed mobile internet to regional and remote communities in a partnership with Ministry of Communication an Information Technology (MCIT) as part of its Universal Service Fund (USF) program we commenced in 2017” continued Al-Kharafi.
Peter Kaliaropoulos, Chief Executive Officer of Zain Saudi Arabia said: “Whilst enduring significant competitive and structural challenges in the Saudi telecommunications sector, the team delivered remarkable results in 2017 in all facets of the business including the first ever net profit since the launch of the company in 2008.”
He added, “The ongoing transformation of Zain Saudi was underpinned by strong revenue growth from data services, dedicated customer care efforts, significantly improved network coverage, faster download speeds and, operational efficiencies.”