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Zain boosts profits by 12%

Network upgrades and new licence agreements expected to fuel further growth, according to CEO, Saad Al Barrak

Kuwaiti telecom operator, Zain, increased its profits by 12% to $820.5 million in the nine months to September 30, compared with the same period last year, while revenues increased by 36% to reach $4.273 billion.

Zain, which is a subsidiary of Dutch holding company Celtel International, attributed the increase in revenue to a growing customer base and a series of infrastructure upgrades to its MENA operations.

Zain said it had a customer base of some 36.4 million active customers in 22 countries in the Middle East and Africa as of September 30, 2007, an increase of 49% when compared to the first nine months of 2006.

Dr Saad Al Barrak, CEO of Zain said that he expects this level of growth to continue in the next couple of years, following the company's recent licence acquisitions in Ghana, Iraq and Saudi Arabia, and network upgrades across the region.

"We have invested heavily in the upgrading of networks and facilities in both our African and Middle East operations, necessary expenditure to support customer growth and more importantly customer service," he said.

"We plan on extending our ‘One Network' concept, the world's first borderless mobile telecommunications network further across the African continent, and in early 2008 this state-of-the-art service will be launched in the Middle East."

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