(Updates with chairman’s comment in fourth paragraph.)
Oct. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Zain Saudi Arabia, a unit of Mobile Telecommunications Co. of Kuwait, posted a narrowed third- quarter loss as it added customers and introduced 4G services.
The loss was 484 million riyals ($129 million), compared with 544 million riyals a year earlier, the company said in a statement to the Saudi bourse today. The mean estimate of five analysts was for a loss of 378 million riyals, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Zain Saudi started on Sept. 14 a high-speed mobile Internet network service in the three main cities of Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam and will cover all of the kingdom by the end of 2012.
The loss narrowed “despite the very competitive and saturated market conditions,” Board Chairman Prince Hussam Bin Saudi Bin Abdul Aziz said in a statement today. Revenue rose 8 percent to 1.8 billion.
Saudi Arabia’s third-largest phone operator by market value yesterday appointed Khalid Al-Omar as chief executive officer after Saad al-Barrak resigned. Zain Saudi’s parent company Zain Group last month failed to sell a 25 percent stake in its Saudi unit to Kingdom Holding Co. and Bahrain Telecommunications Co.
Zain Saudi’s shares dropped 0.8 percent to 5.9 riyals at 11:53 a.m. in Riyadh after the results were announced. The stock has tumbled 24 percent this year.
--Editors: Peter Branton, Alan Purkiss
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