Kuwait City: Kuwaiti telecoms giant Zain on Sunday reported a drop in its third quarter net profits due to currency exchange losses in Sudan and conflict in Iraq.

The company’s net profit in the third quarter fell seven per cent to 40 million dinars (Dh484 million, $132 million) from 43 million dinars ($142 million) in the same period last year, Zain said in a statement.

Net profit for the first nine months of 2017 was 122 million dinars ($402.6 million), down 1.6 per cent from 124 million dinars ($409.2 million) in the same period last year.

The fall in profits was mainly attributed to negative developments in its Zain units in Iraq and Sudan.

Zain said some $20 million of its net profit losses in the third quarter stemmed from its unit in Sudan, which has seen a steep devaluation of the local currency.

Conflict in Iraq, where Zain operates one of the most active units, also had a negative impact with profits lower than expected.

Net profit

Its Saudi Arabian arm, Zain Saudi, however posted a net profit for the third quarter in a row — after more than 10 years in the red.

During the third quarter, Zain sold its treasury stocks, about 10 per cent of total shares, to Omantel, in which the Omani government has a majority stake, for $846 million.

Consolidated revenues in the first nine months hit $2.5 billion, down 8.0 per cent from $2.7 billion a year ago.

The company’s customer base remained stable at 45.3 million.

Zain is the largest mobile phone operator in Kuwait but also has operations in Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Sudan and manages a unit in Morocco.

The Kuwaiti government holds a stake of almost 25 per cent in the company, which is one of three mobile operators in the Gulf emirate, alongside National Telecommunications Co (Wataniya) and Kuwait Telecommunications Co (VIVA).