The former state-owned business generated £E556.9m ($103.8m) of net profits in the January to March quarter, down from £E585.2m in the same quarter of 2007.

The company’s core fixed-line business was to blame with the number of customers growing just 3.3 per cent to 11.3 million at the end of March.

Telecom Egypt’s latest profits were 33 per cent lower than they were in the final three months of 2007.

Chairman and chief executive Akil Beshir said: “Our business is seasonal and this has a bearing on both retail voice traffic and on the revenues derived from new connections.

“For this reason, comparisons with the fourth quarter of 2007 are misleading.”