April 12, 2017 / 7:30 AM / 6 months ago

Zain Saudi reports first quarterly profit, beats forecasts

DUBAI, April 12 (Reuters) - Telecom operator Zain Saudi reported its first quarterly profit since launching in 2008, beating analysts’ forecasts.

Zain Saudi, 37-percent owned by Kuwait’s Zain, made a net profit of 45 million riyals ($12 million) in the three months to Dec. 31, it said in a statement. This compares with a net loss of 250 million riyals in the prior-year period.

Three analysts polled by Reuters had on average forecast Zain Saudi would make a quarterly net loss of 104 million riyals.

The company attributed the profit to a drop in expenses as a result of the extension of its licence by an another 15 years, a rise in revenues and a drop in costs due to the cut in mobile termination rates in April 2016. Distribution expenses also fell, it added.

Quarterly revenue reached 1.92 billion riyals, up from the 1.77 billion riyals recorded in the same period a year ago.

$1 = 3.7498 riyals Reporting by Tom Arnold, editing by Louise Heavens

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