Telecom operator Zain Group said it made an investment of $635 million towards Capex (capital expenditure) in 2016 – mainly focusing on mobile Internet business.
Thanks to huge investment in mobile Internet, Zain Group said its data revenues, excluding SMS and VAS, increased 6 percent in 2016, representing 23 percent of the group’s revenue.
Zain Group’s main focus areas for investment were 3G and 4G network expansion and upgrades across its operations. Zain Group said its Capex of $635 million (excluding Saudi Arabia), reflects 18 percent of revenues. Zain indicates that its Capex in 2017 will be between 15-20 percent of group revenues.
“We have invested in 3G / 4G network expansion upgrades across all markets to improve the mobile experience for our customers. Our investments in capital expenditure reached $635 million, which represents 18 percent of our revenues, reflecting Zain’s commitment to innovation and quality of service,” said Zain Group chaiman Asaad Al Banwan.
Zain Group also made strategic investment in smart city solutions.
Zain Group’s subscriber base increased 3 percent to 47 million customers in 2016.
ALSO READ: Zain Group website for full financial result
Zain Group said its revenues fell 4 percent to KD 1.1 billion or $3.6 billion, EBITDA grew 3 percent to KD 512 million or $1.7 billion with EBITDA margin of 47 percent, while net income rose 2 percent to KD 157 million or $519 million in 2016. The telecom operator said foreign currency impacted Zain’s performance.
In the fourth quarter of 2016, Zain Group posted revenues of KD 261 million or $860 million (–8 percent) with EBITDA of KD 122 million or $400 million with an EBITDA margin of 47 percent, while net income was KD 32 million or $106 million.
Zain and data business
Zain Kuwait’s data revenues, excluding SMS and VAS, form 36 percent of total revenues thanks to its investment in 4G LTE network.
Zain Iraq noted that data revenue formed 9 percent of total revenues, reflecting an annual growth of 21 percent following the launch of 3.9G services at the beginning of the year.
Data revenues of Zain Sudan formed 13 percent of total revenues, with growth of 23 percent.
Zain Saudi Arabia achieved 36 percent rise in data revenues, representing 33 percent of total revenues.
Zain Jordan’s data revenues represented 34 percent of total revenues, growing by 23 percent, mainly due to investment in 4G network.
Zain Bahrain revamped 4G network and achieved 22 percent increase in the customer base to reach 971,000 with data revenues increasing 11 percent, representing 41 percent of revenues.