Kuwait's Mobile Telecommunications Company (Zain) posted a 1.7 per cent rise in its fourth-quarter net profit to KWD86.83 million ($295.2m, Dh1.08bn) from a year earlier and expects its 2009 net profit to rise almost 30 per cent.
Zain, the third-largest telecom operator in the Middle East, reported full-year net profit of KWD322m ($1.2 billion), up six per cent from 2007, or $0.33 a share, it said without providing quarterly figures which Zawya Dow Jones calculated from previous financial data.
Zain's results were below analysts' expectations. Global Investment House expected the telecom operator's fourth-quarter net profit to reach KWD95m.
Zain said it considers 2009 to be "the year of rewards" as it has invested massively over the last two years on network expansion in Iraq, Ghana and Saudi Arabia. "Overall, due to our massive network investment across all operations, we expect and are targeting a 30 per cent increase on many of our financial indicators in 2009," Zain's Chief Executive Officer Saad Al Barrak said in the statement.
"During the year Zain committed over $3bn in network upgrades and expansion primarily in vast and viable markets such as Ghana, Iraq, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia and Sudan all resulting in robust customer acquisition and revenues. These markets will continue to grow and we expect to further reap further rewards in the years ahead," said Al Barrak.