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Wed 4 May 2011 07:18 PM

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Kuwait's Zain posts 36% rise in Q1 net profit

Telco misses analysts' forecasts despite increasing active customer base by a fifth

Kuwait's Zain posts 36% rise in Q1 net profit

Kuwait's Zain reported a 36 percent rise in quarterly profit on Wednesday, but

missed analysts' forecasts despite the telecoms operator

increasing its active customer base by a fifth.

Zain had first-quarter net profit of KD69.9 million ($254.2 million), the firm said in a statement. This compares to

a profit of KD51.5 million in the year-earlier period.

Analysts polled by Reuters had expected the firm to post a

quarterly profit of KD75.3 million.

Zain's consolidated first-quarter revenues were KD324.4

million, up 1 percent from the year-earlier period.

Total active customers rose 20 percent year-on-year to 37.6

million. Zain's operations in Sudan and Iraq both achieved

double-digit growth in customers.

Zain has conditionally accepted a $950 million offer from

joint bidders Bahrain Telecommunications Co (Batelco)

and Kingdom Holding for its quarter-stake in affiliate

Zain Saudi.

In March, UAE's Etisalat withdrew a $12 billion

takeover bid for Zain.

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