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Zain Saudi narrows Q1 net loss

Riyadh, April 15, 2013

Indebted telecom operator Zain Saudi said it has narrowed its losses in the first quarter to SR398 million ($106.13 million) from SR420 million in the year-ago period.

Saudi Arabia's No.3 mobile company, an affiliate of Kuwait's Zain, attributed the narrowing first-quarter loss to rising income and lower financing charges, according to a bourse statement.

Analysts polled by Reuters on average forecast Zain Saudi would make a quarterly loss of SR387.6 million.

The company, which has yet to make a quarterly profit since launching operations in 2008, often struggles to compete with better-resourced rivals Saudi Telecom Co (STC) and Etihad Etisalat (Mobily).

Zain Saudi said the quarterly revenue was SR1.78 billion, up from SR1.52 billion a year ago.

First-quarter financial charges fell to SR171 million from SR229 million a year earlier.

Zain Saudi has repeatedly extended the maturity of a SR9 billion Islamic facility, which is now due on April 30. A separate $600 million loan is due a day later.

The terms of a new five-year facility to replace the Islamic loan are being finalised, Zain Saudi said in the statement, with the smaller loan also set to be refinanced.

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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