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Mobily struggling to return to profitability

Operator still recovering from accounting error that wiped millions from its balance sheet

Mobily struggling to return to profitability
Khalid al-Kaf, Mobiliy's previous CEO, was removed over the accounting error

It is unclear when Mobily, Saudi Arabia's second-biggest telecoms operator, will return to profit following an accounting error that was reported last year, according to Mobily chairman Suliman bin Abdulrahman al-Gwaiz.

Reuters reports on an interview published today by Asharq Al-Awsat, which quoted the chairman as saying that it would be difficult to say when the operator will once again be profitable.

The operator, which is part-owned by the UAE's Etisalat, has had to make serious revisions to its balance sheets since November last year, when the accounting error came to light. The company's CEO, Khalid al-Kaf, was removed over the incident, while accounting revisions have seen Mobily haemorrhaging money.

According to the Asharq Al-Awsat interview, Mobily's focus is simply to return to some semblance of stability, which al-Gwaiz was quoted as saying would likely be achieved by early next year.

Reuters reported that, as part of the fix-up, Mobily had already removed 400 non-Saudi staff to control costs.

Al-Gwaiz added in the interview that the operator was set to announce the appointment of a new CEO soon. Al-Kaf's deputy, Serkan Okandan, has been serving as interim CEO since the accounting error was made public last year.

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