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Positive developments in Saudi boost Zain’s full-year performance

Zain Group, a leading mobile telecom innovator in eight markets across the Middle East and Africa, announces its consolidated financial results for the full-year 2018, and fourth-quarter ended 31 December, 2018. Zain serves 49 million customers, reflecting a 5% increase year-on-year (Y-o-Y).

For the full-year 2018, Zain Group generated consolidated revenues of KD 1.3 billion (USD 4.4 billion), an impressive 28% Y-o-Y growth, while consolidated EBITDA for the period increased by 25% Y-o-Y to reach KD 519 million (USD 1.7 billion), reflecting an EBITDA margin of 39%. Consolidated net income reached KD 197 million (USD 649 million), up 23% and reflecting Earnings Per Share of 45 Fils (USD 0.15).  

For the full-year, foreign currency translation impact, predominantly due to the 47% currency devaluation in Sudan from an average of 16.9 to 31.9 (SDG / USD), deprived the company USD 216 million in revenue, USD 79 million in EBITDA and USD 27 million in net income.  

For the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2018, Zain Group recorded consolidated revenues of KD 411 million (USD 1.4 billion), up 57% when compared to Q4, 2017. EBITDA for the quarter amounted to KD 195 million (USD 642 million), reflecting an EBITDA margin of 47%. Net income for the period amounted to KD 59 million (USD 196 million), up 59% Y-o-Y, and representing Earnings Per Share of 13 fils (USD 0.05).  

Specifically, for Q4 2018, currency translation impact deprived the company USD 78 million in revenue, USD 25 million in EBITDA and USD 10 million in net income, again predominantly due to currency devaluation in Sudan from 18.3 to 46.2 (SDG / USD), a 60% decrease.  

AT&T joins the Global Telco Security Alliance

The Global Telco Security Alliance today announced the addition of global telecommunications leader AT&T as an equal partner in the grouping which was launched in April 2018 by Etisalat, Singtel, SoftBank and Telefónica. The Global Telco Security Alliance brings together leading telecommunications operators from around the world with the main objective of offering enterprises comprehensive cybersecurity insights to help enterprises address the growing threat of cyberattacks.

AT&T’s addition represents a significant step up in resources and insights offered by the Alliance as a whole. AT&T has long-established and extensive cybersecurity capabilities and technologies. These were recently reinforced with the acquisition of AlienVault, which has enabled AT&T to accelerate delivering on its vision of enabling organizations of all sizes with effective cybersecurity solutions.

The inclusion of AT&T clearly reinforces the Global Telco Security Alliance’s ability to share insights and best practices for customers globally. Combined, all the members cover more than 1.2 billion customers in over 60 countries across Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and the Americas.

The Global Telco Security Alliance plans to expand its scope of activities and global footprint over time and is open to bringing in new members in the future.

Airtel and Telkom Kenya agree to merger

Kenya’s second and third largest mobile phone operators are merging to create a stronger challenger to the market leader, Safaricom.

Indian-owned Bharti Airtel and Telkom Kenya announced their intention to operate under a joint venture company that will be named Airtel-Telkom. The two companies said the deal comprises their mobile, carrier, and enterprises services but would not include Telkom Kenya’s real estate portfolio and specific government services. Telkom Kenya is 60% owned by private equity firm Helios and 40% owned by the Kenyan government.

The two entities will continue to run independently but will combine efforts to enhance their range of products, marketing services, and offerings to customers. The closure of the transaction is subject to regulatory approval.

Zain makes strategic investment in Nexgen, smart city specialist

Zain Group announces a strategic investment in Nexgen Group, a leading smart city advisory and consulting services provider based in the UAE. The investment will lead to the establishment of a specialised business unit delivering smart city services to governments and mega real estate developers facilitating the deployment of smart city solutions and managed services across Zain’s regional footprint.

The agreement comes exactly twelve-months after a strategic cooperation partnership was announced between the two entities.

Both Zain and Nexgen hold strong opinions that the power of mobile Internet is a driving factor to unlocking the potential of how people live their lives and transforming how they conduct their businesses. The companies are in agreement that with the confluence of smart technologies and services, the Internet of Things and the power of data, smart city developments will enhance the lives of millions of people across the region.

The newly established business unit will focus on delivering smart city solutions and managed services and will include design and integration for applications including smart living in city districts, smart safety and security, smart education and health, and smart metering for the utility sector among others.

Zain records 8% rise in Q4 net income, but 21% slide for the full-year

Zain Group today reported that for the fourth quarter of 2015 to December 31, the operator recorded consolidated revenues of KD283 million (US$933 million), down three per cent year-on-year in local currency. EBITDA for the quarter amounted to KD127 million, up 7.6 per cent in KD terms for the quarter, reflecting an EBITDA margin of 45 per cent. Net income for the quarter amounted to KD36 million, up eight per cent year-on-year.

For the full-year 2015, Zain Group generated consolidated revenues of KD1.14 billion, down six per cent year-on-year, while consolidated EBITDA for the year reached KD499 million. Consolidated net income was down to KD 154 million, reflecting a 21% slide year-on-year.

Zain served 45.6 million customers at the end of the period, reflecting a three per cent increase year-on-year.

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