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Kuwait Telco Zain Q1 Profit Falls 26.7%

Kuwait Telco Zain Q1 Profit Falls 26.7%

The firm had posted falling profits in eight of the preceding 10 quarters.

Zain, Kuwait’s No.1 telecom operator by subscribers, reported a 26.7 per cent fall in first-quarter profit on Tuesday, extending a sustained earnings slump as its Iraq business suffered from political instability and intense competition.

The former monopoly, which operates in eight countries in the Middle East and Africa, made a net profit of KD41 million in the three months to March 31, down from KD55.9 million in the year-earlier period.

SICO Bahrain forecast Zain would make a quarterly profit of KD41.1 million.

“The continued political instability in Iraq and heightened levels of competition, severely impacted Zain Iraq’s and consequently the Group’s overall key financial metrics,” Zain said in a statement. “We recognise the exceptional circumstances in one key market over the past nine months that has impacted us significantly.”

The firm had posted falling profits in eight of the preceding 10 quarters as tougher domestic competition, service interruptions in war-torn Iraq and foreign exchange volatility weighed on the bottom line.

First-quarter revenue was KD279 million. This compares with KD311 million a year ago.

In Kuwait, Zain competes with Ooredoo Kuwait, a unit of Qatar’s Ooredoo, and Viva, an affiliate of Saudi Telecom Co (STC).

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