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Saudi ‘Atheeb’ CEO: Profitability Achieved, Capital Increase Part of Transformation Strategy  

The CEO of Saudi telecommunications company “Etihad Atheeb Telecommunications Co.” revealed that the company has shifted from losses to profitability due to five key factors, with the foremost being the development of local talent recruitment and a strategic transformation plan.

Yahya bin Saleh bin Mohsen Al Mansour said that debt settlement with creditors, re-establishing relationships with suppliers, and the return of the company’s stock to trading were instrumental in this turnaround.

Previously, Atheeb had recorded a loss of approximately SAR 1.67 million Saudi Riyals ($455,000) in the quarter ending on June 30, 2022, but it has since achieved a net profit of SAR 52.6 million ($14 million).

Al Mansour emphasized that the company, founded in 2009, faced challenging phases marked by intense competition and accumulated losses, which adversely affected both shareholders and investors alike.

Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat, Al Mansour pointed out that in the year 2021, the company reached a crossroads, with either bankruptcy looming or one last chance to turn things around. The latter option was the chosen course of action.

“I joined the company as CEO with an exceptional executive team, which was one of the key factors contributing to the company’s success,” said Al Mansour.

“Together, we devised a 100-day plan that proved successful, thanks to the aforementioned factors in achieving profitability,” he added.

“The company has consecutively achieved profitability for four quarters, driven by both the business sector and contracts, whether with the government sector or corporate entities, including Hail University, the Najran Emirate, the Tabuk Emirate and SABIC,” he revealed.

According to Al Mansour, the business sector experienced significant growth that had a positive impact on the company’s performance, in addition to cost reduction.

Atheeb had submitted a capital increase request to the Saudi Arabian Capital Market Authority (CMA) by way of rights issue valued at SAR 250 million ($66.6 million).

Al Mansour stated that the request was based on the company having developed a comprehensive transformation strategy encompassing multiple facets. Among the most crucial aspects are the enhancement of network infrastructure, product development, talent acquisition, customer experience improvement, and digital transformation.

Al Mansour emphasized that the execution of this strategy necessitates funding, especially for projects related to infrastructure development and technological advancements to meet the latest requirements of the Saudi market and its customers.

He further clarified that the proceeds from the offering will primarily be utilized to finance the company’s transformation projects, in addition to repaying some of its debts to improve its financial position.

He explained that Atheeb’s transition from loss to profitability, along with a noticeable improvement in its financial and operational performance, as well as winning significant government projects, has had a positive impact on its financial standing in the market, its market capitalization, and the value of its shares.

These factors have encouraged investors and attracted both local and foreign investments.

“In addition to operating in a promising market in Saudi Arabia with the support of Vision 2030, coupled with the improvement and implementation of our transformation strategy, we have positioned ourselves competitively in the telecommunications sector,” Al Mansour told Asharq Al-Awsat.

Also, he emphasized that the implementation of the transformation strategy has begun to yield positive results.

“The company has started to achieve favorable outcomes, including increased revenues, improved services, and an enhanced customer experience driven by network and infrastructure enhancements,” affirmed Al Mansour.

This progress extends to both the business and individual sectors, as well as significant government projects.

The company has also placed a strong focus on cost optimization, financial improvement, and reducing its debt load.

These factors have converged to enhance the company’s operational standing, which has had a positive impact on its financial performance.

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