During a conference call with analysts on 2 February following the release of the company’s fourth-quarter results, Mobinil chairman Alex Shalaby said that net profits would fall during 2009 although he declined to say by how much.

Mobinil is one of the few Middle Eastern telecoms companies to report a growth in net profits for the fourth quarter of 2008.

Its net profits for the quarter were £E551m ($99m), up 25 per cent on the same period in 2007. Mobinil’s net profits for the whole of 2008 were up 8 per cent to £E2bn.

The company’s revenues continued to grow strongly, rising 24 per cent during the fourth quarter of 2008 to £E2.6bn and by 21 per cent for the year as a whole to £E10bn.