Revenues were up 25 per cent at $1.9bn, compared with $1.5bn during the July to September quarter of 2007.

“This quarter has been both the most challenging and most rewarding since the launch of our current strategy in 2003,” said Saad al-Barrak, chief executive officer of Zain, when announcing the results on 22 October.

Zain completed a $4.5bn rights issue on the Kuwait Stock Exchange on 20 September during the turmoil in world financial markets. About 99 per cent of eligible shareholders bought their allocation of shares.

The company also launched its services in Saudi Arabia at the end of August.

Al-Barrak said Zain Saudi Arabia had signed up 1 million active customers by the end of September.

“Our Kuwait operation continues to contribute considerably to our net profit and our team are focused on strategies to contest the third mobile entrant expected later in 2008.

“The Bahrain operation continues to shine, exceeding all targets, while our operations in Iraq, Jordan and Sudan are maintaining their respective market shares in competitive and challenging environments,” added Al-Barrak.

The company will update the market on the financial performance of each of its subsidiaries later this month.