At its annual results presentation on 3 February, chief financial officer Raslan Diranieh cautioned that 2009 would be a more difficult operating environment for the company than 2008, when net profits increased by 6.1 per cent.

The company generated JD100m ($141m) of net profits from revenues of JD401m during 2008.

Jordan Telecom’s revenues were almost static, up less than 1 per cent on 2007, with the company’s customer base growing slowly in an increasingly crowded market.

Its customer base increased by 2.9 per cent over the year to 1.8 million by the end of December 2008. However, its number of fixed-line customers fell 8 per cent to 610,000 over the same period.

“The year 2008 was a difficult year, yet we managed to realise growth. With the increase in prices of oil and commodities in 2008, people’s priorities changed, which affected the telecoms sector a little bit,” Diranieh said.

Jordan Telecom is second in the country’s mobile market to Zain, part of the Kuwaiti telecoms group of the same name. It also faces competition from Umniah, which is owned by Bahrain’s Batelco.