Last updated: 11 November, 2013

Kuwait Zain telecom profit drops over currency rate

Net income for Kuwait’s telecom giant Zain dropped 12.7 percent in the third quarter 2013, for the second year running, the company said Monday, blaming currency fluctuations for the dive.

The company, the largest mobile operator in Kuwait, posted a net profit of $186 million in the three months to September 30, compared to $213 million in the same quarter last year, Zain said in a statement.

Zain said foreign currency fluctuations, especially in Sudan, had adversely affected consolidated revenues and net income.

It said it could have posted a small rise in profits had it not been for the currency losses.

Net income for the first nine months of this year dropped 18.9 percent to $584 million from $720 million in the same period last year.

“Unavoidable foreign currency fluctuations continue to affect us adversely, however we are unwavering in our transformation efforts in this changing telecom environment that is characterised by intense competition,” Zain Group CEO Scott Gegenheimer said.

Consolidated revenues at the end of the third quarter in 2013 hit $1.1 billion, unchanged from the previous year, while the company’s customer base rose by 3.0 million to 44.3 million.

Besides Kuwait, Zain has operations in Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Sudan. It also manages a unit in Morocco.

Zain, in which the Kuwaiti government holds a stake of almost 25 percent, is one of three mobile operators in the Gulf state, along with the National Telecommunications Co. (Wataniya) and Kuwait Telecommunications Co. (VIVA).