The company’s net profits fell to $307m in the first half of 2008, compared with $320m in the first half of 2007, excluding exceptional items.

In the second quarter of 2008, it generated net profits of just $80.8m.

Including exceptional items, net profits in the first half of 2007 had been $1.02bn due to a one-off gain when Orascom Telecom sold its stake in an Indian operator to the UK’s Vodafone.

Revenues were up 19 per cent at $2.7bn for the first half of this year, compared with $2.2bn in the same period of 2007.

Orascom enjoyed some success in Algeria where it increased its share of the market. The company’s Algerian subsidiary Djezzy boosted its market share from 62.7 per cent at the end of March to 63.2 per cent at the end of June.

Its Tunisian mobile operator Tunisiana, which it jointly owns with Kuwait’s Wataniya, increased its customer numbers to 3.9 million, giving it a market share of 49.1 per cent.

Orascom also owns a 34.6 per stake in Egyptian operator Mobinil. It reported an 18 per cent drop in net profits to just $80m in its second quarter, when it announced its results to the Cairo & Alexandria Stock Exchanges in August (MEED 11:8:08).