Kuwait-based Zain Group has announced that its international customer base grew to 64.7 million at the end of March 2009, a year-on-year growth of 41%. The Middle East and African mobile operator recorded first quarter revenues of KWD567.2 million (USD1.96 billion), an increase of 25% compared to 1Q 2008. EBITDA for the period was KWD245.4 million, up 40% on the same period a year earlier. Net income climbed 3% in the three months ending 31 March 2009, up to KWD75.7 million. Zain claimed that foreign exchange fluctuations reduced its bottom line by KWD18.4 million. Zain Group CEO Dr Saad Al Barrak said, ‘Despite the challenges imposed by the global economic crisis and the competitive markets in which we operate, these impressive first quarter results are testament to the sound management practices of the group and a reflection of our unwavering commitment to reach our 2011 target of being a top-ten global mobile operator.’ Zain has also announced a restructuring plan under which it will reduce its 15,500 staff by 2,000 by the end of 2011.