Mobily exceeds expectations with $208m net profit for 2020

Mobily exceeds expectations with $208m net profit for 2020
Mobily’s revenues grew mainly due to an increase in data revenues, business unit and wholesale revenues, and its subscriber base.
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Updated 22 February 2021

Mobily exceeds expectations with $208m net profit for 2020

Mobily exceeds expectations with $208m net profit for 2020

Mobily’s net profit for the fiscal year ending Dec. 31, 2020 reached SR783 million ($208.8 million), reflecting an increase of 2,425 percent from the net profit of SR31 million in 2019. This financial achievement has been attributed to a number of reasons, including:

Revenues:

Mobily succeeded in growing its revenues in 2020 to SR14,046 million, a 4.4 percent increase from SR13,450 million in 2019. This is mainly due to an increase in data revenues, business unit and wholesale revenues, and its subscriber base.

Gross profit:

The gross profit for 2020 amounted to SR8,152 million, a 4.5 percent increase from SR7,800 million in 2019. This is mainly attributed to the increase in revenues.

EBITDA:

The earnings before interest, taxes, zakat, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) were recorded as the highest in the last seven years, reaching SR5,350 million in 2020, an 8.2 percent increase from SR4,947 million in 2019. This is attributed to the company’s efficiency in managing its operations and the growth of revenues. The EBITDA margin rose to 38.1 percent for 2020 compared to 36.8 percent in 2019.

EBIT:

The operational profit or earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) amounted to SR1,367 million in 2020, an increase of 41.3 percent compared to the EBIT of SR967 million in 2019.

Financial charges and zakat:

The financial charges for 2020 declined to SR561 million, a decrease of 39.6 percent compared to SR929 million in 2019. This reflects the company’s efforts to reduce the funding costs by refinancing big portions of its debts at the end of 2019 as well as the decrease in the interest rate. The zakat expense for 2020 was SR43 million, whereas the corresponding amount for 2019 was SR49 million.

Net debt:

Mobily’s net debt amounted to SR10,602 million at the end of 2020, whereas it was SR10,626 million at the end of 2019.

CapEx:

The capital expenditures (CapEx) in 2020 amounted to SR2,792 million, compared to SR2,760 million in 2019.

EBITDA-CapEx:

Mobily substantially improved its 2020 EBITDA-CapEx or operational cash flow to reach SR2,558 million, an increase of 17 percent compared to SR2,187 million in 2019.


Häagen-Dazs renames flavors to celebrate iconic Arab women

Häagen-Dazs renames flavors to celebrate iconic Arab women
Updated 06 March 2021

Häagen-Dazs renames flavors to celebrate iconic Arab women

Häagen-Dazs renames flavors to celebrate iconic Arab women

One may be hard-pressed to play favorites with ice cream, but four popular flavors from Häagen-Dazs are being topped with a special meaning. The brand is commemorating International Women’s Day 2021 by renaming their vanilla, Belgian chocolate, salted caramel, and strawberries and cream flavors to reflect the achievements of four iconic women who have not held back.

The renamed flavors have been designed to ensure customers start their order with what they want and end each order with a self-affirming flavor of success — be it “Scale New Heights,” like Raha Moharrak (vanilla); “Beat the Odds,” like Yasmin Yousri (salted caramel); “Direct My Story,” like Nayla Al-Khaja (Belgian chocolate); or “Design My Destiny,” like Maz Hakim (strawberries and cream).

These signature ice creams with thematic names will only be available in the UAE at the brand’s Dubai Mall, Mall of Emirates and Kite Beach stores. Women across the city can scoop up, for free, their motivational flavor of choice exclusively on March 8 and at discounted rates until March 21.

In addition, Häagen-Dazs is asking residents across the region to nominate by March 14, the exemplary women who inspire them every day. To celebrate these heroines, Häagen-Dazs will then rename two of their bestselling ice creams — cookies and cream and vanilla caramel brownie — in their honor.

“We believe the world needs to hear about these remarkable women living in the Middle East, from all walks of life, who have shattered glass ceilings, looked beyond life-threatening illness, scaled even the world’s highest peak and taken a passion project to one of the world’s leading fashion houses,” said Michelle Odland, Häagen-Dazs global brand director.

“While these four brilliant icons are undeniable examples to thousands of women around the world, we’re asking women across the Middle East to join the celebration. We are excited to use our platform to share and then pay tribute to the fascinating stories of how mothers, painters, pilots, chefs, entrepreneurs and countless other women in the region have not ‘held back’ and have inspired others,” she added.


Mideast’s first adventure tourism platform launches

Mideast’s first adventure tourism platform launches
Updated 06 March 2021

Mideast’s first adventure tourism platform launches

Mideast’s first adventure tourism platform launches

The newly launched Sharjah-incubated Mughamer.com is making a splash in the adventure tourism space. This first of its kind website in the Middle East curates adventure activities for tourists and thrill seekers around the world.

Co-founded by Mohamed Al-Musharrkh, and Sarmad Al-Zadjaly, the project is supported by the Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center (Sheraa) and the Sharjah Angel Investors Network — a Sharjah Research, Technology and Innovation Park (SRTIP) initiative.

The launch ceremony was held at SRTIP and was attended by Sheikh Fahim Al-Qasimi, executive chairman of the Department of Government Relations, Sharjah, and chairman, Higher Committee for Digital Transformation of Sharjah; Sheikha Hind bint Majed Al-Qasimi, chairperson of Sharjah Business Women’s Council; Hussain Al-Mahmoudi, CEO of SRTIP; Najla Al-Midfa; CEO of Sheraa; and a number of officials and media representatives.

In the first phase, the website offers visitors the opportunity to explore virtually and select activities of their choice across destinations in the UAE, Morocco, Brazil and Comoros Island. Gradually, more destinations will be included.

The website offers access to a range of adventures and experiences, including safaris, mountain climbing, trekking, cycling, desert driving and camping trips through participating agents and destinations. 

The next phase of the project will include unique activities such as exploring dormant volcanoes, deep sea diving, aerial adventures, and much more.

Speaking at the launch ceremony, SRTIP CEO Al-Mahmoudi said: “It is a part of SRTIP’s mission to collaborate and support innovative initiatives such as Mughamer.”

Sheraa CEO Al-Midfa said: “Today we celebrate the launch of ‘Mughamer,’ a Sharjah-born startup that is expected to revolutionize the travel and tourism industry. This venture will grow to be a role model for entrepreneurs in the UAE and the region on how to uniquely design and launch a successful tech-driven startup that responds to the rapid digital disruptions that have taken place as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Co-founder Al-Zadjaly said: “Mughamer.com responds directly to the rapid growth of the adventure tourism industry as a result of the continued development of the global travel and tourism sector and the need to invest in new solutions that help connect tourists with the most unique adventure experiences all over the world.”

Mughamer.com offers its services in five languages, including Arabic, English, Hindi, French and Spanish. It features a navigation bar that ensures travelers can quickly find exactly what they are looking for, a search tool that allows for easy trip planning, and an online booking process that will have them ready for adventure in minutes.

It also allows the luxury of free cancelations of bookings at any point.

According to reports, adventure tourism contributes $1 trillion in earnings to the global tourism sector annually, and it is projected to increase even further year-on-year as the demand for new experiences and destinations continues to grow exponentially.


StarzPlay bundles now available on Huawei Video

StarzPlay bundles now available on Huawei Video
Updated 06 March 2021

StarzPlay bundles now available on Huawei Video

StarzPlay bundles now available on Huawei Video

Huawei Video, the region’s rapidly growing subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) service, has extended its partnership with StarzPlay, a regional SVOD provider, to offer up to 63 percent discount on StarzPlay packages on Huawei Video for consumers in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait and Oman.

Available to new and existing subscribers between March 1-31, the packages bring more than 100 live TV channels, Hollywood movies, popular Arabic and Turkish series, as well as StarzPlay originals and more. 

Building on the strong customer response to the Huawei Video and StarzPlay collaboration announced last year, the new offer brings tremendous value to users. Viewers will especially appreciate no longer needing to switch between streaming platforms, as they can instantly access the constantly growing library of premium StarzPlay content on their Huawei Video app.

Huawei Video delivers an optimum video and audio experience by leveraging the high-end technologies and capabilities of its devices.


Zahid Group, Total join forces to develop solar energy

Zahid Group, Total  join forces to develop solar energy
Updated 04 March 2021

Zahid Group, Total join forces to develop solar energy

Zahid Group, Total  join forces to develop solar energy

In line with the renewable energy goals of Vision 2030, the Jeddah-headquartered Zahid Group and French energy company Total have announced the establishment of a joint venture named Saudi French for Energy Efficiency and Renewables (SAFEER).

Zahid Group is represented by Altaaqa Alternative Solutions while Total is represented by Total Solar Distributed Generation.

SAFEER’s mission is to bring affordable and reliable solar energy solutions to commercial and industrial customers across Saudi Arabia. The company aims to lead the way in the creation of an ecosystem for distributed generation through state-of-the-art solutions, and the development of local content and talent while maintaining a second-to-none commitment to safety and quality. 

Specializing in commercial and industrial solar installations on rooftops and carports, the joint venture will leverage Total’s expertise across the entire solar value chain and Altaaqa’s 18 years of leadership in delivering independent power and water utility solutions in the Kingdom.

Both the Zahid Group and Total have a track record of successful investments in the Kingdom’s oil and gas and energy sectors, creating numerous career opportunities while also being catalysts in the elevation of industry standards and best practices. 

The establishment of SAFEER comes as a natural response to the Ministry of Energy’s directive to promote renewable distributed generation in the Kingdom, the companies said. 

Julien Pouget, senior vice president, renewables at Total, said: “In line with our 2050 carbon neutrality ambition and our growth strategy in renewables, we are committed to bringing Total’s world-class expertise in on-site solar power generation solutions to provide clean, affordable and reliable energy to industrial and commercial customers in the Kingdom. We are delighted to expand our partnership with Zahid Group to this new field opened by the Ministry of Energy, which comes within the framework of Vision 2030.”

Majid T. Zahid, group president, energy at Zahid Group, added: “Zahid Group is built on long-standing partnerships and associations with globally renowned brands and its adherence to the highest levels of professionalism and operating standards.

“Across our 11 sectors of operation, Zahid Group has illustrated its commitment to our Kingdom’s future — whether it is through the establishment of companies and joint ventures, the development of local talent, the empowerment of women, or the investment in new factories, facilities and technologies. We take great pride in the Kingdom’s ambitious plan to become a diversified investment powerhouse and are committed to playing our role in the realization of Vision 2030.” 

SAFEER aims to be a home for the development of the careers of future generations of Saudis, a case study in partnerships between international leaders and local champions, a driving force in the diversification of the Kingdom’s economy and a leader in delivering on the Kingdom’s ambitious plans for renewable energy.


Sayidaty special edition celebrates 40 years of success

Sayidaty special edition celebrates 40 years of success
Updated 04 March 2021

Sayidaty special edition celebrates 40 years of success

Sayidaty special edition celebrates 40 years of success

Sayidaty magazine, a sister publication of Arab News, has launched a special edition to celebrate the 40th year of its existence. Reflecting the aspirations of the magazine and addressing the modern Arab woman and family, the new issue offers a variety of content ranging from arts, culture, fashion and beauty to society.

A number of Arab celebrities and known personalities have written on the occasion, congratulating Sayidaty for achieving the latest milestone. 

The magazine also features interviews with six prominent and inspiring Gulf figures in the “Khaleejona Wahed” (Our Gulf is One) section.

The anniversary edition also includes a photo session with Saudi businesswoman Dana Alami, from the heart of Qiddiya, and the Lebanese-American model Rima Fakih, a former Miss America, and her family at their home on the shores of Florida. 

In addition, people will read about four up-and-coming Saudi female DJs, who have an unmatched potential in the world of music.

Sayidaty Editor in Chief Lama Al-Shathry said: “We celebrate with you, our dear readers and loyal followers, the 40th year of Sayidaty, through a special issue with a new look and unique content. Over four decades, Sayidaty has always excelled in the Arab world with its special topics and exclusivity, its popularity crossing borders to reach the rest of the region.

“Sayidaty in its 40th year is characterized by a renewed spirit and a modern vision — one that keeps pace with the great changes we are living through on a daily basis. We promise you and our team that we will continue working and putting in all effort to offer the best in both our printed and online magazines, which ranks No. 1 among all lifestyle websites in the region.”

Over the years, Sayidaty has also addressed the youth, offering a wide space for them to keep up with their interests and hobbies, along with informative articles on education, university and other topics relevant to Generation Z.

Sayidaty’s female readers are satiated with the latest in the world of fashion, beauty, jewelry and others. The magazine also provides a platform for female writers to share their ideas and thoughts.