Zain Group’s net profit grew to KD55.9m ($198.4m) in the first quarter of 2014, an 8 per cent year-on-year increase.

Revenues were up 4 per cent to reach KD311.1m, while earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (ebitda) increased 5 per cent to KD132.2m.

“Across many of our markets, we are witnessing growth in key financial indicators as we drive efficiency and innovation. The healthy 27 per cent annual growth rate in data revenues, with data now reflecting 15 per cent of all Zain Group’s service revenues, justifies the huge investment we continue to make in our 3G and 4G networks,” says Scott Gegenheimer, Zain’s CEO.

The Kuwait-based operator’s finances have improved over the past year as the firm focused on recapitalising, including the restructuring of a $2.7bn loan of its Saudi Arabia unit in August 2013. Saudi Arabia’s Finance Ministry gave Zain KSA a lifeline when it agreed to defer SR5.6bn of licence fee payments by the operator in June 2013.

Renewed confidence in the company helped Zain secure two loan facilities during the first quarter of 2014.

In March 2014, it signed a $800m, five-year amortising revolving credit facility with a syndication of 11 banks. The following month, Zain secured a $250m, five-year Murabaha facility (similar to rent to own), led by Kuwait-based Boubyan Bank and with the participation of Kuwait International Bank and Qatar Islamic Bank.