Etisalat records Dh2.1b Q1 profit; subscribers up

Waheed Abbas/Dubai
Filed on April 24, 2018 | Last updated on April 24, 2018 at 08.05 pm
Etisalat records Dh2.1b Q1 profit; subscribers up
Etisalat's aggregate subscriber base grew three per cent year-on-year to 144 million while consolidated revenues amounted to Dh13.1 billion, an increase of 5 per cent.

(File photo)

Etisalat's net profits for the first quarter of 2018 remained static as compared to same period last year, despite an increase in revenues and subscriber base.

The UAE's largest telecom operator said its net profit after federal royalty amounted to Dh2.1 billion.

Its aggregate subscriber base grew three per cent year-on-year to 144 million while consolidated revenues amounted to Dh13.1 billion, an increase of 5 per cent.

"As we continue to encounter evolving industry dynamics, innovation and successful partnerships remain relevant and integral in sustaining our leading market position and assuring our profitability," said Saleh Al Abdooli, Group CEO, etisalat.

He said etisalat's first quarter results are a promising start for the current year, alluding positive prospects for both customers and shareholders.

"While we operate in multiple markets with varying levels of technological maturity, our home market remains a driving force; as we witness the government adopting futuristic technologies, like AI and Blockchain, and leading the digital transformation of the society as a whole," Al Abdooli said.

In the UAE, revenue increased three per cent year-on-year to Dh7.8 billion in the first quarter. In Egypt, revenues grew 11 per cent to Dh0.7 billion. In Pakistan, revenues fell three per cent to Dh1 billion, impacted by unfavourable exchange rate movement of Pakistani rupee against dirham.

Etisalat's subscriber base in the UAE grew to 12.9 million at the end of March 2018, representing a year-on-year growth of three per cent, driven by mobile and eLife segments. Mobile subscriber base grew four per cent to 11.1 million in the UAE, representing a net addition of half-a-million subscribers mostly in the prepaid segment. While its subscriber base in Egypt decreased three per cent but increased five per cent in Pakistan.

Its consolidated operating expenses in Q1 grew seven per cent to Dh8.5 billion due to higher cost of sales, higher depreciation and amortisation expenses, higher network costs and other operating expenses.

The telecom major said its consolidated capital expenditures decreased 16 per cent to Dh1.3 billion in Q1 2018. In the UAE, capital expenditure was focused on building digital capabilities and network maintenance. Capital expenditure decreased 15 per cent to half-a-billion dirham.

"Moving forward," Al Abdooli said, "we will stay focused on realising our strategic and operational goals and on materialising our digital transformation. We will continue to push technological boundaries and tap on nontraditional revenue streams that will augment our core services revenues and maximise the return on investment of our networks and platforms."

Etisalat's shares closed unchanged at Dh17.40 on Tuesday.



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