Zain made a net profit of $281m in the April to June quarter, compared with $270m in the same period last year.

The rate of profit growth has fallen since the beginning of this year. Zain’s net profits in the first three months of 2008 were up 10 per cent year-on-year.

By contrast, Zain’s main regional rival, the UAE’s Etisalat, generated net profits of $815m in the April to June quarter, an increase of 58 per cent on the same period in 2007.

Zain has also confirmed that it will launch mobile phone services in Saudi Arabia before the end of August.