May 7, 2018 / 2:08 PM / in a year

Zain Saudi swings to Q1 loss as it loses nearly 2 mln subscribers

DUBAI, May 7 (Reuters) - Mobile telecommunications company Zain Saudi swung to a loss in the first quarter, as it lost nearly two million subscribers over the period.

Zain Saudi, part-owned by Kuwait’s Zain Group, lost 77 million riyals ($20.5 million) in the January-March period, it said in a bourse statement on Monday. That compares with a profit of 45 million riyals in the same period a year ago.

EFG Hermes and Al Rajhi Capital had forecast the firm would make a loss of 42.5 million riyals and a loss of 33 million riyals, respectively.

Zain Saudi’s lost around 1.7 million subscribers in the first quarter, falling 17 percent to 8.4 million. The company said this was in line with a country-wide decrease.

Saudi Telecom last month reported a 2.1 percent increase in first quarter net profit to 2.59 billion riyals and Mobily reduced its quarterly losses to 93 million riyals.

Zain Saudi quarterly revenue fell 12 percent to 1.69 billion riyals, which it blamed on a decrease in the rate other carriers pay to end calls on its network and a drop in international traffic. ($1 = 3.7502 riyals) (Reporting by Alexander Cornwell; Editing by Adrian Croft)

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