Zain Saudi Q4 Net Loss Narrows By 4%

The mobile company reported a new loss of SAR443 million in the fourth quarter of the year.



Indebted telecom operator Zain Saudi reported a four 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 SAR443 million ($118.1 million) in the three months to Dec. 31. This compares with a net loss of SAR461 million in the prior-year period.

Analysts polled by Reuters on average forecast Zain Saudi would make a quarterly loss of SAR387 million.

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

Quarterly gross profit was SAR739 million, up from SAR691 million a year ago.

Loss from operations widened by 23 per cent to SAR262 million, compared with SAR213 million for the same quarter last year.

The company made a full-year loss of SAR1.7 billion in 2012. This compares with a loss of SAR1.93 billion a year earlier.

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

The firm extended the maturity of a SAR9 billion ($2.40 billion) Islamic loan for another six weeks on Dec. 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.