Kuwait's Zain post near-flat Q4 profit

DUBAI Mon Jan 27, 2014 9:11am EST

DUBAI Jan 27 (Reuters) - Zain, Kuwait's No.1 telecommunications operator, reported near-flat fourth-quarter profit on Monday, missing analysts' estimates.

The former monopoly, which operates in eight countries in the Middle East and Africa, made a net profit of 51 million Kuwaiti dinars ($180.59 million) in the three months to Dec. 31, it said in an emailed statement.

This was up from 50.5 million dinars in the year-earlier period, Reuters data shows.

Two analysts polled by Reuters had forecast Zain would make a quarterly profit of between 52.1 million dinars and 59.1 million dinars.

Zain's full-year profit for 2013 was 216.4 million dinars, down from 252.2 million dinars in 2012. ($1 = 0.2824 Kuwaiti dinars) (Reporting by Matt Smith; Editing by Andrew Torchia)