Zain invests $1 bn in Capex on FTTH, 4G and 5G networks

Zain today said it invested over $1 billion in Capex, mainly for the expansion of fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) infrastructure, spectrum fees, 4G upgrades and new network sites, as well as 5G launch in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.
Zain store Bahrain
Zain Group has generated revenue of $1.4 billion (+7 percent), EBITDA of $629 million with EBITDA margin of 43.5 percent and net income of $211 million (+8 percent) in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Zain Group’s generated revenue of $5.5 billion (+26 percent), EBITDA of $2.4 billion (+40 percent) with EBITDA margin of 44 percent and net income of $715 million (+10 percent) in 2019. Zain Group’s data revenue grew 36 percent to $2 billion, representing 36 percent of the Group’s revenue for 2019.

Zain served 49.5 million (+1 percent) customers.

Zain Group CEO Bader Al-Kharafi said: “Our 4Sight strategy is taking shape, building on our strengths, while seeking value-creating new business verticals that support our vision of becoming a leading ICT and digital lifestyle provider.”

Zain said it is focussing on optimizing the synergies between the Group, Omantel and all operations as well as making significant investments in fiber combined with 4G and 5G network upgrades to exploit data monetization initiatives.

Zain Kuwait’s customer base increased 7 percent to 2.8 million. It launched commercial 5G services and rolled out innovative digital services to enterprises and individual customers. Zain Kuwait’s revenue rose 1 percent to $1.1 billion, EBITDA increased by 10 percent to $417 million and net income up by 1 percent to $273 million.

Zain Kuwait made progress in its digital transformation launching applications and operational efficiency initiatives to support the expansion of 25 smart branches and further enhancement of its interactive zBot chat digital channel on the WhatsApp platform, that reduced customer waiting times by 90 percent.

Zain attained the largest market share of 5G customers in Kuwait. The operator prepared itself for the launch of 5G and rolled out commercial services immediately on the availability of 5G smartphones and compatible mobile broadband routers.

Zain Saudi Arabia generated revenue of $2.2 billion (+11 percent) and EBITDA of $1.02 billion (+27 percent), with EBITDA margin of 46 percent.

Zain KSA reported Capex of $512 million in 2019 focusing on the rollout of FTTH services and the largest commercial 5G network in the region. The operator’s total customer base stood at 7.6 million and data revenue represents 43 percent of total revenue.

Zain Iraq’s revenue was stable at $1.1 billion despite a competitive landscape and economic and political issues in Zain stronghold regions. EBITDA grew by 10 percent to $465 million with 43 percent EBITDA margin. Retention and customer loyalty initiatives also resulted in the company serving 15.7 million customers.

Zain Sudan’s revenue dropped by 4 percent to $304 million, EBITDA rose by 1 percent to reach $122 million, while net income increased 11 percent to $49 million. Data revenue formed 18 percent of total revenue, with annual growth of 41 percent in SDG terms. Zain has 15.9 million customers in Sudan.

Zain Jordan served 3.6 million customers. Revenue was stable at $496 million, with EBITDA up 14 percent to $221 million, and EBITDA margin of 45 percent. Expansion of fiber and 4G networks and related digital offerings including B2B services, saw data revenue represent 41 percent of total revenue.

Zain Bahrain generated revenue of $167 million (–5 percent) with EBITDA of $56 million (+35 percent) with EBITDA margin of 33 percent. Zain recently revamped its 4G network and will soon launch 5G services in Bahrain. Data revenue represented 47 percent of overall revenue.