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Mobinil expects decline in revenue growth

Egypt's largest mobile operator by subscribers, expects revenue growth to slow this year.

Mobinil, Egypt's largest mobile operator by subscribers, expects revenue growth to slow to around 10 percent in 2009 as Egypt's economy loses steam.

Mobinil had on Sunday posted a record profit in the fourth quarter on the back of 24 percent revenue growth. For the full year, its revenue grew 21.3 percent.

"We expect revenue growth of around 10 percent," Mobinil chief finance officer Khalid Ellaicy told a conference call on Monday.

The company's chairman said on Sunday its net profit would slow from the 25 percent growth in the fourth quarter, but the company would not show a decline in profits.

Egyptian officials have said gross domestic product growth in the most populous Arab country could ease to its slowest in five years on less revenue from tourism, investment and the Suez Canal.

Ellaicy also said the ratio of the group's core earnings to total revenue would decrease in 2009. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation reached 46.8 percent of total revenue in 2008.

"We expect EBITDA (margin) to be in the low 40s in 2009," he said, without giving further details.

Ellaicy also said the group's capital expenditure would be between 2.5 billion Egyptian pounds ($450 million) and 3 billion Egyptian pounds. (Reuters)

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