February 14, 2018 / 6:21 AM / a year ago

Saudi's Mobily Q4 losses widen, customers decline

DUBAI, Feb 14 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia’s Etihad Etisalat (Mobily), the country’s second-largest telecommunications operator, reported a widening quarterly loss on Thursday, partly blaming it on the introduction of internet calls and a decline in its customer base.

Net losses more than doubled to 181.7 million riyal ($48.45 million) in the three months to December 31 from a loss of 70.2 million riyals a year earlier, it said in a statement to the Saudi bourse.

Revenue fell 2.8 percent to 2.83 billion riyals.

The results were in line with estimates from SICO Bahrain and NCB Capital.

Mobily linked its widening loss to the decline in revenue, impacted by a drop in the number of customers which it said was happening across the sector. It did not say how many customers it had lost in the period.

Mobily also said the unblocking of most VoIP applications had impacted revenue.

Saudi Arabia lifted in September 2017 a ban on online voice and video call services such as Microsoft’s Skype and Facebook’s WhatsApp.

Mobily, an affiliate of the United Arab Emirates’ Etisalat , competes with Saudi Telecom (STC) and Zain Saudi. ($1 = 3.7503 riyals) (Reporting by Alexander Cornwell; Editing by Saeed Azhar)

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