Etihad Etisalat (Mobily), Saudi Arabia’s second largest mobile operator by subscribers, has announced its annual financial results for 2016, reporting a net loss of SAR202.9 million (USD54 million), an 81.4% improvement on the net loss of SAR1.1 billion reported in 2015. According to a press release on the Saudi Stock Exchange’s (Tadawul’s) website, the positive development was mainly attributed to a SAR1.432 billion decrease in general and administrative expenses (due to the booking of a SAR800 million doubtful debt provision towards Zain in the previous period, among other significant cost reductions, certain savings and reversal of certain accruals), which was partly offset by a decrease in gross profit by SAR533 million and an increase in depreciation (by SAR149 million).
In the twelve months to 31 December 2016 revenues decreased to SAR12.569 billion, down by 12.9% year-on-year, due to a lower subscriber base as a result of the government’s biometric registration process, a decrease in handset sales and a reduction in interconnection rates. CAPEX dropped to SAR3.209 billion (from SAR3.485 billion) in the twelve months under review, with the company highlighting that the development reflected a ‘continuous rationalisation of spending’. EBITDA for 2016 amounted to SAR4.009 billion, up by SAR1.068 billion on an annualised basis, when compared to the SAR2.941 billion reported in 2015.