DUBAI: Zain, Kuwait’s No.1 telecom operator by subscribers, reported an 8 percent rise in fourth-quarter profit on Wednesday, halting a sustained earnings slump as its subscriber base increased.
The former monopoly, which operates in eight countries in the Middle East and Africa, made a net profit of 36 million dinars ($120.4 million) in the three months to Dec. 31, a company statement said.
This compares with a profit of 33.3 million dinars in the year-earlier period, Reuters data shows. An analyst at SICO Bahrain had forecast Zain would make a quarterly profit of 40.4 million dinars.
The firm had posted falling profits in 11 of the preceding 13 quarters as tougher domestic competition, service interruptions and higher costs in war-torn Iraq and foreign exchange volatility weighed on the bottom line.
Zain’s 2015 profit was 154 million dinars, down from 194.3 million dinars in 2014.
The operator had 45.6 million customers at 2015-end, up 3 percent from a year earlier.
Zain’s board has recommended paying an annual cash dividend of 30 fils per share for 2015. This compares with a cash payout of 40 fils per share for 2014.
In Kuwait, Zain competes with Ooredoo Kuwait, a subsidiary of Qatar’s Ooredoo, and Viva, a unit of Saudi Telecom Co (STC).
Copyright Reuters, 2016
Courtesy : BRecorder