For the first nine months of 2019, Zain KSA generated revenues of SAR 6.16 billion ($1.64 billion), up 12.3 per cent compared to the same period in 2018, while EBITDA for the period increased by 49 per cent to SAR 2.85 billion ($761 million), reflecting an EBITDA margin of 46 per cent. Net income for the nine months soared to reach an unprecedented SAR 380 million ($102 million), reflecting a significant improvement on the net loss of SAR 67 million ($18 million) reported in the same period of 2018, highlighting an improvement of circa SAR 447 million ($119 million).
For the three months to 30 Sep 2019 (Q3), Zain KSA recorded revenues of SAR 2 billion ($536 million), a three per cent increase on Q3 2018. EBITDA for the period reached SAR 949 million ($253 million), reflecting a 47 per cent EBITDA margin, up 31 per cent on Q3 2018. Net income for Q3 2019 amounted to SAR 121 million ($32 million), reflecting a significant improvement on the net income of SAR 48 million ($13 million) reported for Q3 2018.
During Q3 2019, the company paid off the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China facility in full from the proceeds of the SAR 2.25 billion Murabaha Junior Credit facility that was agreed in June 2019 with a syndicate of five core Saudi Arabia and regional banks. The telco's total capex (tangible and intangible) for the nine months totaled SAR 1.2 billion ($324 million)
On October 5, 2019 Zain KSA launched 5G commercial services, with the first phase of the rollout being implemented through a network of 2,000 towers covering an area of more than 20 cities in the Kingdom. It was the region’s largest 5G network deployment
Zain KSA launched many appealing B2B services targeting government and enterprise customers as well as individual data monetisation initiatives exploiting its superior 4G and 5G network.
Commenting on Q3 2019 results, Bader Al-Kharafi, Zain vice-chairman and Group CEO, and Zain KSA Vice-Chairman said, “The impressive operational performance in reporting five consecutive quarters of profit clearly demonstrates the success of the company's digital growth strategy that has placed the company in a much stronger financial position and also seen its market capitalisation more than double over the last 12 months."
“Zain KSA’s success and continued financial growth was due to the increased demand for the company's innovative digital products and services offered to B2B and individual customers; a direct result of the operator’s superior network quality. Additionally, the reduction in the tariff of the annual royalty fees for commercial service from 15 per cent to 10 per cent of net revenues has contributed to the company’s financial performance,” Al-Kharafi added.
Al-Kharafi expressed optimism over the continuation of this upward trend in Zain KSA’s financial results, supported by the company's continued investment in new services and technologies, the latest of which was the launch of the first phase of commercial 5G services, which has now been extended to 23 cities in the Kingdom through 2200 towers. The initial launch will be followed by a gradual expansion of the network to cover a total of 26 Saudi cities utilising 2,600 towers by the end of 2019.
"Zain KSA will also rely on 5G technology to enhance IoT, smart city and digital payment services in the near future. This reflects the company's commitment to encourage innovation and stimulate the development of new sectors in the Kingdom that open the door to a new era of economic growth and enhance job creation opportunities for Saudi youth," Al-Kharafi said.
Al-Kharafi concluded by expressing his sincere gratitude to the leadership of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for creating an environment in which companies such as Zain KSA can thrive. “The Board and executive management teams of Zain Group and Zain KSA are committed to playing a key role in the Kingdom’s ICT sector and offering customers quality and life empowering telecommunications services in line with Vision 2030. It is gratifying to have authorities at all levels of government support and commit to our presence in the Kingdom in such a positive manner. Such support further increases the attractiveness of the Kingdom's economy, contributing to its ongoing prosperity.”
Zain KSA benefits greatly from the expertise and resources of its parent Zain Group, which supports Zain KSA in being a leader in the sector and driving technology innovation in the Kingdom forward.