Zain Bahrain (Ticker: ZAINBH), a telecom innovator focused on enhancing customer experience, posted a profit of BD1.8 million (US$4.8 million) for the six months to 30 June, 2016, as its customer base spiked 10% to new record levels in response to the operator’s first-to-market mobile social media packages. Profit for the half-year to 30 June was down 11% year-on-year from BD2.1 million (US$5.6 million) the previous year, while net profit for the three months ending 30 June amounted to BD926,000 (US$2.5 million), down 12% quarter-on-quarter. However, this figure represented a 1% increase on net profit in Q1 2016, which amounted to BD917,000 (US$2.4 million). EBIDTA fell by 12% to BD12.2 million (US$32.3 million) for the six months ending 30 June, down from BD14 million (US$37 million) a year earlier. Zain’s EBIDTA margin for the period amounted to 38.77%. Total revenues for the six months to end-June stood at BD31.9 million (US$84.4 million), down 9.2% year-on-year due to intense market competition.
Zain Bahrain’s highly successful social media product, which offers unlimited data across all social media channels, helped the telco expand its customer base by 10% quarter-on-quarter from 800,750 to 881,298 customers at the end of June. The introduction of this social media product meant that, for the first time in the Kingdom, mobile customers were not billed for data used accessing social media applications beyond their initial subscriptions. The ‘Truly Unlimited Social Media’ prepaid and postpaid mobile packages give customers unlimited access to platforms such as WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, YouTube, Twitter and others, as well as free local and international calls.
Zain Bahrain Chairman, His Excellency Shaikh Ahmed bin Ali Al Khalifa said: “Our focus on operational excellence and innovation has resulted in the growth of our customer base by more than 10% this quarter. Further investments were also made which will enable Zain Bahrain to triple its network’s capacity, thereby further enhancing customer experience.”
He added: “The change in our profits to date comes against the backdrop of an increasingly challenging market, with the penetration rate exceeding 180%, and a demanding sophisticated consumer market. Zain Bahrain continues to reap the rewards of its cutting edge network technology. Its superior capabilities make it possible for us to deliver innovative and unique services to our customers while creating additional value for our shareholders.”
Key Zain Bahrain highlights during Q2 2016
Zain Bahrain continued to invest in its infrastructure which led to a 10% increase in site coverage, and in expanding its infrastructure to accommodate a greater amount of data traffic.
The operator also began a key relationship with Bahrain Duty Free, whereby tourists receive “Welcome Bahrain” prepaid SIM cards for their communication needs while visiting the Kingdom.
Zain Bahrain’s best in class customer experience was recognized once again with a Best Voice of Customer Program award at the Middle East Call Center (MECC) 2016 conference in Dubai, UAE.
The operator inducted university students into Future University Network (F.U.N.), its annual Summer Trainee Program, held as part of a strategic partnership between Zain Group and the United Nations (UN). It also continued its support of education for sustainable development (ESD) in the Kingdom by funding the Zain Bahrain E-Learning Center at the University of Bahrain (UoB). The annual sponsorship is one of the operator’s key corporate sustainability initiatives, which has contributed to the education of thousands of Bahrainis.
During Ramadhan, the operator unveiled Zain Alshuhoor, an app offering Muslims a range of services. Also during the holy month, Zain Bahrain staff distributed meals to the needy under its ‘Iftar Saa’em’ initiative. Customers helped by sending donations via SMS.
Zain Bahrain strengthened its public engagement by hosting a media ghabga, as well as sponsoring a Social Media Club (SMC) ghabga in celebration of Social Media Day. The latter event, held under the patronage of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, HE Shaikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, honored Zain Bahrain for its support of the SMC and its activities.