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Zain of Kuwait Nine-Month Profit Falls 4% on Subscribers

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Oct. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Mobile Telecommunications Co., Kuwait’s largest mobile-telephone company, posted a 4 percent drop in nine-month profit as subscriptions declined.

Net income fell to 201.6 million dinars ($717.8 million), the company, known as Zain, said in an e-mailed statement today. Net income for the year-earlier period was 210.2 million dinars, Bloomberg calculations showed.

Zain, which sold most of its African assets in 2010 to Indian billionaire Sunil Mittal’s Bharti Airtel Ltd., has operations across the Middle East and North Africa. The mobile-phone operator said in August that it was at an advanced stage of negotiations with Vodafone Group Plc on a strategic partnership.

Subscriptions at Zain fell less than 1 percent to 41.3 million for the nine-month period from 41.4 million a year earlier, the company said. Revenue declined 1.4 percent to 974.6 million dinars, the company said.

Chief Executive Officer Nabeel Bin Salamah will step down in February, Zain also said.

Zain competes in Kuwait with National Mobile Telecommunications Co., known as Wataniya, and with Kuwait Telecommunications Co., which operates under the Viva brand.

To contact the reporters on this story: Glen Carey in Riyadh at gcarey8@bloomberg.net; Zahra Hankir in Dubai at zhankir@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net

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