Etihad Etisalat (Mobily), Saudi Arabia’s second largest mobile operator by subscribers, has announced its financial results for the six months ended 30 June 2015, reporting a 57.4% slump in net profit to SAR945.427 million (USD252.09 million), down from SAR403.186 billion in H1 2014. According to a press release on the Saudi Stock Exchange’s (Tadawul’s) website, the negative development was mainly attributed to ‘an additional doubtful debt provision for Zain Saudi of SAR800 million’ (due to a payment dispute between the two operators, which is still under arbitration), an increase in other general and administrative expenses amounting to SAR200 million, a decrease in revenues by SAR210 million and an increase in zakat expenses by SAR58 million.
In the six months to end-June 2015 revenues decreased to SAR7.212 billion, down by 2.8% year-on-year, while gross profit was down by 5.3% to SAR3.850 billion from SAR4.065 billion in 1H14. EBITDA for the period under review amounted to SAR1.008 billion, a 54.3% slump on an annualised basis, when compared to the SAR2.206 billion reported in the corresponding period of 2014.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia’s Capital Market Authority (CMA) has lifted the ban on trading in Mobily’s shares, effective today. As previously reported by CommsUpdate, in June the regulator suspended the company’s shares from the bourse until it received a response from the telecoms operator on the likely impact on its earnings from an initial regulatory report examining accounting irregularities, launched in November 2014 after the company restated its earnings for an 18 month period due to ‘accounting error’.