Zain boosts income 5%

UPDATE 1: Kuwaiti mobile operator posts Q2 net profit of $281mn, lifting first half earnings to $551.5mn.

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By  Rania El Gamal Published  July 26, 2008

Kuwait's Mobile Telecommunications Co (Zain) boosted second-quarter net profit by 4.9 percent to about $281 million and said it is on track to achieve profit growth of 5 percent this year.

Net profit in the first half rose almost 7 percent to $551.5 million compared with a year ago, Zain said in a statement on Saturday, without giving the quarterly figure, which newswire Reuters calculated based on previous financial data.

The third-largest Arab telecom company by market value said revenue in the six months to June 30 rose 26 percent to $3.49 billion compared with the same period last year and EBITDA advanced almost 20 percent to $1.31 billion.

Global Investment House forecast second-quarter net profit of 119.6 million dinars ($450.3 million), according to a Reuters survey last month.

The subscription for Zain's $4.5 billion capital increase will take place between Aug. 17 and Sept. 18, it said in the statement.

Mobile phone subscriptions rose 58 percent to 50.74 million in the first half compared with a year ago, it added. Group Chief Communications Officer Ibrahim Adel told Reuters on Saturday the company would stick to its full-year forecast given by Chief Executive Saad Al-Barrak in April of 5 percent rise in net profit this year.

He added Zain also expects earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) to grow more than 25 percent and revenues to rise by 15 percent in 2008.

Shares of Zain, which plunged almost 20 percent this year, were up 2.6 percent on Thursday. The stock closed at 1.580 dinars valuing the company at 6.76 billion dinars. (Reuters)

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