Mobily profit up 16pc as data revenue rises
Riyadh, January 18, 2012
Etihad Etisalat (Mobily) reported a 16-percent rise in fourth-quarter profit on Wednesday, beating estimates as the Saudi telecoms operator's data revenue and post-paid mobile subscriber numbers rose.
The carrier, an affiliate of UAE's Etisalat, made a net profit of 1.7 billion riyals ($453 million), compared with profit of 1.46 billion riyals in the same period a year ago.
Analysts polled by Reuters on average expected the firm to post quarterly profit of 1.44 billion riyals. Mobily, which unveiled its long-term evolution (LTE) high-speed network in September, said data revenue in 2011 rose 59 percent. Data accounted for 22 percent of total revenue last year, up from 18 percent in 2010.
Mobily's contract phone subscriber base rose 50 percent last year, it said. These customers typically spend more than those on pre-paid tariffs. The operator's shares closed 1.4 percent lower on Saudi Arabia's bourse before the results were announced. - Reuters