Zain reports slump in Q1 profits

Kuwaiti mobile operator Zain said its first-quarter net profits fell by 27 per cent, and blamed a steep devaluation in the Sudanese pound and loss-making unit Zain Saudi for the decline.

According to Reuters, Zain posted a net profit of €140 million in the first three months of 2013, down from €191 million a year ago and below average analyst forecasts of €150 million.

Reuters noted that Sudan accounted for nearly a third of Zain's customer base and a fifth of group revenue last year. In July, Sudan devalued its currency to 4.4 Sudanese pounds to the dollar from 2.6 pounds, costing Zain the equivalent of $179 million (€138 million) in revenue and $44 million in profit in the first quarter.

Meanwhile Zain has increased its stake in Zain Saudi to 37 per cent from 25 per cent and said this had put pressure on group operating results, without giving further details.

For more:
- see this Reuters article

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