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Zain Nine-Month Profit Increased 7% as Customer Base Grows

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Nov. 1 (Bloomberg) -- Mobile Telecommunications Co., Kuwait’s largest mobile telephone company, posted a 7 percent increase in nine-month profit as its subscriptions grew.

Net income climbed to $762.5 million in the period to Sept. 30, the company known as Zain said in an e-mailed statement today. Third-quarter profit dropped almost 8 percent to $257.2 million, according to Bloomberg calculations based on previous quarters’ earnings.

Profit was affected by fluctuations in foreign exchange rates, costing the company $100 million, Chairman Asaad Al Banwan said in the statement.

Zain, which sold most of its African business last year to Bharti Airtel Ltd. for $9 billion, failed in September to sell a 25 percent stake in Zain Saudi Arabia to Kingdom Holding Co. and Bahrain Telecommunications Co. Emirates Telecommunications Corp. in March abandoned plans to buy a majority stake in Zain.

Consolidated revenue rose 2.2 percent to $3.6 billion in the first nine months and subscriptions advanced 17 percent to more than 41.4 million, mainly driven by growth in Sudan, Iraq and Saudi Arabia.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization rose 4 percent to $1.6 billion, the company said.

Shares of Zain in Kuwait trading closed 1 percent higher today before the results were announced. The stock lost 38 percent so far this year, giving the company a market value of 4.1 billion dinars ($15 billion).

To contact the reporters on this story: Tamara Walid in Abu Dhabi at twalid@bloomberg.net; Fiona MacDonald in Kuwait at fmacdonald4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Inal Ersan at iersan@bloomberg.net

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