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Wed 8 Jul 2015 01:54 PM

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Mobily return to profitability difficult to judge, says chairman

Saudi telecom firm has been rocked by accountancy issues which have forced it to restate financial statements

Mobily return to profitability difficult to judge, says chairman

The chairman of Etihad Etisalat (Mobily) said it was difficult to say when the kingdom's second-biggest mobile operator would return to profitability, according to an interview published in Asharq Al-Awsat on Wednesday.

The company has been rocked by accountancy issues which have forced it to restate financial statements dating back to 2013, incurring huge losses in the process.

A team appointed by the Capital Market Authority identified concerned over the operator's contracts with customers, including those for fibre networks, according to a bourse filing from Mobily last month.

According to the interview, Mobily chairman Suliman bin Abdulrahman al-Gwaiz said the company's current focus was on returning stability to the firm, although this was unlikely to happen before the beginning of next year.

Mobily, 28 percent owned by the United Arab Emirates' Etisalat, has laid off around 400 non-Saudi staff in a bid to control costs and expects the company to announce a new chief executive officer soon, the chairman was quoted as saying.

The operator removed previous CEO Khalid al-Kaf in February, who had been suspended since November when the company first restated its results. Deputy CEO Serkan Okandan has been serving as temporary head since November.

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