Saudi Mobily Q4 net up 39% on higher usage

Mobily, Saudi Arabia's second-largest telecoms operator, posted an above-forecast 39 per cent rise in fourth-quarter net profit on higher use of services and more broadband subscribers.

The company, also known as Etihad Etisalat, said net profit in the quarter reached 1.46 billion riyals ($389.1 million), up from 1.05 billion a year earlier, according to a statement posted on the bourse website.

This was well above the average forecast of 1.20 billion riyals in a Reuters survey.

Mobily said in a separate statement it plans to pay a dividend of 2 riyals for 2010. The firm made revenue of 16.01 billion riyals in the fourth quarter compared with 13.05 billion riyals in 2009, because of higher utilisation rates, it said.

Broadband users exceeded 2.3 million, Mobily said without providing a comparative figure.

Net profit for the full-year surged 40 per cent to 4.21 billion riyals, Mobily said.

Mobily benefits from its affiliation with Emirates Telecommunications, its biggest shareholder with a 27.4 per cent stake, which grants it cost-competitive access to networks partially or wholly owned by the UAE-based firm.

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