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Kuwait's Zain sees No Big Net Profit Growth This Year - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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KUWAIT, (Reuters) – Kuwait’s Mobile Telecommunications Co (Zain) expects no big growth in 2008 profit but is eyeing a rise of more than 30 percent in EBITDA, its chief executive officer said on Monday.

“There will be no big growth in net profit, ” Saad al-Barrak told reporters on the sidelines of the firm’s annual shareholder meeting in Kuwait.

The company is targeting growth in revenue of more than 30 percent this year, he said. EBITDA is also going to be up more than 30 percent, he said.

Income last year was 1.677 billion dinars ($6.18 billion), implying revenue this year of at least 2.18 billion dinars.

Zain expects its investments in countries such as Nigeria and Saudi Arabia to weigh on operating profit until 2009 when revenue should jump 50 percent, Kuwait News Agency reported in November, citing Barrak.

Zain expected to spend about $3.3 billion building networks in 2007 — including in Iraq and Sudan — $2.7 billion this year and $2.2 billion in 2009, Barrak said, according to the state-run news agency.

Revenue should rise to $7 billion in 2008, from more than $6 billion last year, before jumping 50 percent to $10.5 billion as investments pay off and user number rise, KUNA reported.

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Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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