By Julius N. Uma
April 29, 2014 (JUBA/KHARTOUM) - The Sudan operations for telecoms company Zain said it recorded a 4% revenue increase in US dollar terms for the first quarter of the year, ending 31 March 2014.
According to the statement, the telecom player’s customer base in Sudan also grew to reach 11.9 million at the end of the period.
For instance, last year Zain said that it had 11.7 million customers in Sudan and a 43% market share in the North African country.
However, while the telecom company notes a 4% growth for its Sudan operations, the growth figure in Sudan’s local currency, the Sudanese pound, is reflected to be higher because of this currency weakening dramatically against the dollar in this year.
“In local SDG currency terms, revenues grew by 8% year-on-year,” reads the statement.
Meanwhile, Zain noted that its South Sudan operations “had several challenges that resulted in reduction of customer base.”
The telecoms group also announced that for the first quarter of 2014 it generated consolidated revenues of $1.1 billion (KD 311.1 million) up 4% when compared to the same period in 2013.
“Consolidated group data revenues (excluding SMS and VAS) witnessed a healthy 27% growth year-on-year, with data now forming 15% of all Zain’s service revenues,” the company says.
The telecom giant also noted that the two loans announced this year also contributed to the growth of group revenue.
According to Zain, earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) reached $469 million (KD 132.2 million) compared to $448.7 million during the first quarter of 2013.
This resulted in a comparative increase of 5%, noted the company.
“Across many of our markets, we are witnessing growth in key financial indicators as we drive efficiency and innovation,” said Scott Gegenheimer, Zain Group’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
“The healthy 27% annual growth rate in data revenues with data now reflecting 15% of all Zain group’s service revenues, emphasizes the appeal and quality of our product and service offerings and justifies the huge investment we continue to make in our 3G and 4G networks,” he added.
Operational in 8 countries, reportedly provides mobile voice and data services to over 46.2 million active customers.The company is listed on the Kuwait Stock Exchange.