TELECOMS

Egypt’s Mobinil looks to bounce back

After months of fears, Mobinil this week announced its margins of losses for last year were not nearly as poor as analysts and observers believed. Still, the company has a long ways to go before it returns to its pre-uprising status as a profit maker in the country.

A managing consultant at Mobinil in Cairo and part of a number of task forces aimed at developing the country’s business model through selling off most of its stocks to France Telecom last month, said that the “future is bright for Mobinil.”

The official, who was not pre-authorized to speak to the media, argued that despite fears the French takeover could see the reduction in jobs and Egyptians losing their work, he says the opposite is likely to happen.

“FT has a lot of innovative ideas to bolster the company’s image, brand and services in Egypt in the coming months and years, which means more manpower to make this happen,” he continued. “So those fears are not founded. What we should be worrying about is how quickly we can get back into the black.”

He was referring to a downturn last summer and fall, which saw the company’s earnings plummet into the negative 100 million Egyptian pounds, but the final quarter of 2011 did see earnings of more than 85 million, showing the company was returning to its position.

Even as Egypt continues to face economic hardship, and jobs remain scarce, citizens continue to use their mobile phone, including a report earlier this month showing that subscription rates were up nearly 20 percent last year, revealing that when the economic is down, telecom remains strong.

And Mobinil, and now its French owners, agree, and are looking for new ways to offer better options and data plans to more Egyptians.

Source: Bloomberg

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