Egypt's Orascom Telecom on Tuesday posted second quarter net profit up 38 percent at $111.8 million, the lower end of forecasts, and said it saw only timid signals of economic recovery in its markets.

The regional Arab mobile operator said it had more than 84 million subscribers by the end of the quarter, compared with more than 80 million at the end of March.

Blended average revenue per user (ARPU) was $6 in the second quarter, compared with $5.8 in the first quarter, on revenue of $1.281 billion.

Five analysts had forecast net profit in a range of $108 million to $165 million on revenue between $1.235 billion and $1.449 billion.

Orascom Chairman Naguib Sawiris noted a stronger second quarter after a weaker performance in the first three months.

Nevertheless, the economic environment in which we are operating is still challenging, and we see only timid signals of economic growth returning, he said in a statement.

Earnings before interest, taxation, amortisation and depreciation (EBITDA) $572.6 million was almost identical to the $573 million previously stated for the second quarter of 2008.

The firm's profit dipped sharply in recent quarters, in part due to currency devaluations in key markets including Algeria, Pakistan and Tunisia.

Orascom also operates in countries as diverse as Egypt, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, Canada and North Korea.

(Editing by Will Waterman)