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Zain Saudi reports narrower fourth-quarter loss

Zain Saudi reported a 4 per cent narrowing of fourth-quarter loss but still missed analyst forecasts, the firm said in a bourse statement on Monday.

Telecom operator Zain Saudi reported a 4 per cent narrowing of fourth-quarter loss but still missed analyst forecasts, the firm said in a bourse statement on Monday.

Saudi Arabia's third largest mobile company, an affiliate of Kuwait's Zain, made a net loss of 443 million Saudi riyals in the three months to December 31. This compares with a net loss of 461m riyals in the prior-year period.

Analysts polled by Reuters on average forecast Zain Saudi would make a quarterly loss of 387m riyals.

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

Quarterly gross profit was 739m riyals, up from 691m riyals a year ago.

Loss from operations widened by 23 per cent to 262m riyals, compared with 213m riyals for the same quarter last year.

The company made a full-year loss of 1.7bn riyals in 2012. This compares with a loss of 1.93bn riyals a year earlier.

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

The firm extended the maturity of its 9bn riyal Islamic loan for another six weeks on December 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.

 

* Reuters

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