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Mobily to spend 22 billion Saudi riyals on infrastructure

Telco aims to expand its fibre optic network across the Kingdom

Gulf News

Riyadh: Saudi Arabia’s Etihad Etisalat Co, or Mobily, said it plans to spend 22 billion riyals Saudi riyals (Dh21.34 billion riyals, $5.86 billion riyals) on infrastructure over the next five years as the telco reported an 11 per cent jump in fourth quarter net profit due to a surge in data revenue.

Net income in the three months ended December 31, amounted to 1.88 billion riyals, up from 1.70 billion riyals a year ago, Mobily said in a statement posted on the Saudi bourse website.

Abdul Aziz Alsaghyir, Mobily’s chairman, said the telco aims to expand its fiber optic network across the Kingdom so that it reaches 500,000 residential units by the end of 2013.

The company’s quarterly profit beat most analysts expectations. Both Saudi Arabia’s NCB Capital and Egypt-based EFG Hermes predicted the telco to report 1.8 billion riyals profit.

Revenues in fourth quarter surged 17 per cent on year to 6.8 billion riyals, Mobily said.

“The growth is attributable to the rise in the data revenues up 41 per cent on the previous year and comprising 27 per cent of total revenues,” the company said in the statement.

Full year net profit meanwhile rose 18 per cent to 6.02 billion riyals, compared with 5.08 billion riyals in the same period of last year. Earnings per share climbed to 8.60 riyals from 7.26 riyals.

In a separate statement, Mobily said it will distribute 885.5 million riyals in dividends for the 4Q, equivalent to 1.15 per share.