Zain laments Covid-19 impact - Mobile World Live

Zain laments Covid-19 impact

23 FEB 2021

Zain Group suffered a drop in net income and revenue in Q4 2020, as it joined a list of fellow operators in reporting declines due to disrupted economic activities resulting from the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

In a statement, Zain revealed net income fell 16 per cent year-on-year to KWD54 million ($178.2 million), while revenue of KWD432 million was down 2 per cent.

Foreign currency headwinds cost the group $33 million in revenue and a total of $7 million in net income, it said.

Mainly, the decline was attributed to the pandemic, which it said had an effect across all of its markets, due to lockdowns and travel bans.

The company did not reveal a cost for the quarter, but for the full year the pandemic impacted group revenue by $417 million.

To mitigate the health crisis, Zain said it had implemented a range of cost optimisation measures including contract renegotiations and management of cashflows, resulting in an operational expense reduction of $168 million.

It also pointed to investment in 5G across Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, spending a total of $1.4 billion in capex predominately on the technology.  This was an increase from $1 billion in 2019.

Zain ended the year with 47.8 million active customers, compared with 49.5 million.

CEO Bader Al-Kharafi (pictured) said the group’s performance reflected the reality of Covid-19 disruption and its “unavoidable impact”.

“The board and management are working closely together in minimising the impact across our footprint with a particular focus on driving efficiencies, cost optimisation and monetising our 4G and 5G networks.”

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Kavit Majithia

Kavit joined Mobile World Live in May 2015 as Content Editor. He started his journalism career at the Press Association before joining Euromoney’s graduate scheme in April 2010. Read More >>

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