Bloomberg News

Mobinil Reports 4th-Quarter Loss on Unrest, Competition

February 20, 2012

(Updates with company statement in third paragraph.)

Feb. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Egyptian Co. for Mobile Services, the country’s second-biggest mobile-network operator, posted a fourth-quarter loss compared with a profit a year earlier because of civil unrest, new taxes and increased competition.

The company, known as Mobinil, had a loss of 177 million Egyptian pounds ($29 million) after a 342 million pound profit a year earlier, Mobinil said in an e-mailed statement today. That compares with the 32 million-pound median of five analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

“The general unrest that affected the country in 2011 weakened the general macroeconomic environment and pushed customers to reduce spending on mobile services,” the company said in the statement. It also cited a drop in tourism industry, a boycott and “the fierce price war initiated by competition,” as reasons behind the decline in revenue for the year.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization slumped 46 percent to 598 million pounds, Mobinil said. Subscribers grew 8.9 percent to 32.9 million, including 28.8 million active subscribers. The Finance Ministry raised the corporate tax rate last June to 25 percent from 20 percent.

France Telecom SA agreed last week with Orascom Telecom Media & Technology Holding SAE, which owns about 35 percent of Mobinil, to buy most of its holdings in the company at 202.5 Egyptian pounds a share. Shares of Mobinil fell 2 percent to 175.15 pounds at the 2:30 p.m. close in Cairo today, valuing the company at 17.5 billion pounds.

Orascom Telecom Media will hold a shareholder meeting on March 1 to seek approval for the transaction.

Mobinil, the oldest mobile phone company in Egypt, competes with the local units of Vodafone Group Plc and Emirates Telecommunications Corp., or Etisalat.

--Editor: Tim Farrand

--Editors: Tim Farrand, James Kraus

--Editors:

To contact the reporter on this story: Ahmed A Namatalla in Cairo at anamatalla@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Maedler at cmaedler@bloomberg.net


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