Mobily Q4 profit rises 8.6pc, beats forecasts

January 16, 2014 - 9:06:42 am
DUBAI: Etihad Etisalat  (Mobily), Saudi Arabia’s No.2 telecom operator, beat analysts’ forecasts with an 8.6 percent rise in fourth-quarter net profit yesterday as revenue from corporate customers increased along with data income. 

Mobily, an affiliate of the United Arab Emirates’ Etisalat, made a fourth-quarter net profit of 2.04 billion riyals, up from SR1.88bn in the prior-year period, according to a bourse statement.  

Analysts polled by Reuters on average forecast Mobily, which competes with the Gulf’s No.1 operator Saudi Telecom Co  and Zain Saudi, would make a quarterly profit of SR1.87bn. 

Mobily’s revenue for the three months to December 31 was SR7.2bn, up from SR6.76bn from the prior-year period. It proposed a dividend of SR1.25 per share for the fourth quarter. The firm’s full-year profit for 2013 was SR6.68bn, up from SR6.02bn a year earlier.   Annual revenue rose 7 percent to SR25.2bn.

The company said more income from data and business clients were the reason for the quarterly and annual profit increases. Business sector revenue rose 23 percent. 

Saudi operators have focused on data and combined services to help offset waning demand for conventional call and text services, which are under pressure due to the popularity of substitute applications such as Internet-based phone calls and instant messaging.

It did not provide a comparative percentage for the previous year, but said revenue from its mobile and fixed broadband networks increased and forecast data would account for more than 32 percent of total revenue this year.