|Zain 2011 Profit Slides 73%|
Zain net profit dived 73% last year mainly because the 2010 profit included a huge capital gain from the sale of its African assets.
Zain's net profit in 2011 was 285 million dinars ($1.03 billion) compared to 1.06 billion dinars ($3.82 billion) the previous year, according to a statement posted on the Kuwait Stock Exchange website.
The 2010 net profit however included 770 million dinars ($2.78 billion) as a one-off capital gain from the sale of Zain's African assets to India's Bharti Airtel.
Without the capital gain, Zain's net profit in 2010 was 293 million dinars
($1.06 billion). "In light of the difficult financial conditions, many markets in the region are still suffering because of the global financial crisis," Zain chairman Asaad al-Banwan said.
"However, the group was able to maintain growth levels in its main financial indicators, though profitability levels were severely affected because of the continuing volatility of the currency exchange rates in some of its main markets, which cost the group $124 million in 2011," he said.
Zain said in a statement that its active customers in the Middle East grew 8% in 2011 to 40.2 million from the year before.
Besides Kuwait, Zain has operations in Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Sudan. It also manages a unit in Morocco.
Zain's consolidated revenues in 2011 rose 2.2 percent to $4.87 billion, while its assets dropped 11 percent to $11.9 billion.
The company's capitalisation however plunged 37.7% to $13.7 billion at the end of 2011 compared to $22 billion the year before.
Zain, in which the Kuwaiti government holds a stake of almost 25%, is one of three mobile operators in the Gulf emirate, along with the National Telecommunications Co. (Wataniya) and Kuwait Telecommunications Co. (VIVA).