Etihad Etisalat (Mobily), Saudi Arabia’s second largest mobile operator by subscribers, has announced its financial results for the six months ended 30 June 2014 (H1 2014), reporting 5.8% year-on-year revenue growth, to SAR12.23 billion (USD3.26 billion). According to a press release on the Saudi Stock Exchange’s (Tadawul’s) website, the growth was attributed to an increase in revenues generated by the company’s business and data sectors. Gross profit for the period under review amounted to SAR6.222 billion, a 9.75% improvement on the SAR5.669 billion reported in 1H13, while net profit decreased by 6.27% to SAR1.312 billion, mainly attributed to a write-off of SAR338.7 million net profit in 2Q14 that had been recognised as net profit in 1Q14.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, in June the Saudi operator announced that its net profit would decline in the three months to 30 June, as a result of the cancellation of an Indefeasible Rights of Use (IRU) agreement signed with domestic fixed line operator Etihad Atheeb Telecom (GO Telecom) in end-March 2014. Abdulaziz Al Saghyir, Mobily’s chairman of the board of directors, said that the company ‘is currently considering the available options after the cessation of negotiations with GO Telecom in respect of the acquisition’.
In operational terms, Mobily revealed that the number of homes covered by its fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) network reached 850,000 by end-June 2014; currently, the fibre-optic services are available in more than 18 cities in the Kingdom. Meanwhile, the launch of interactive TV services, in addition to special channel packages, contributed to an 89% y-o-y increase in fibre-optic sales in 1H14.