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FIRM MISSES ANALYST ESTIMATES

Zain Saudi narrows Q4 net loss by 4pc

Riyadh, January 21, 2013

Indebted telecom operator Zain Saudi reported a 4 per cent narrowing of fourth-quarter loss but still missed analyst forecasts, the firm said in a bourse statement on Monday.

Saudi Arabia's No.3 mobile company, an affiliate of Kuwait's Zain, made a net loss of SR443 million ($118.1 million) in the three months to December 31. This compares with a net loss of SR461 million in the prior-year period.

Analysts polled by Reuters on average forecast Zain Saudi would make a quarterly loss of SR387 million.

In a bourse statement, the company attributed the narrowing loss to a decrease in financial charges.

Quarterly gross profit was SR739 million, up from SR691 million a year ago.

Loss from operations widened by 23 per cent to SR262 million, compared with SR213 million for the same quarter last year.

The company made a full-year loss of SR1.7 billion in 2012. This compares with a loss of SR1.93 billion a year earlier.

Zain Saudi has struggled under mounting losses and multi-billion dollar debts.

The firm extended the maturity of a SR9 billion ($2.40 billion) Islamic loan for another six weeks on December 19, the sixth time it has deferred payment.

Parent firm Zain in July increased its stake in Zain Saudi to 37 per cent from 25 per cent after underwriting the affiliate's capital restructuring.-Reuters




Tags: Telecom | zain saudi | loss |

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