Defying the odds, the emirate has cemented its position as a leading global centre for trade and commerce
e& on Monday posted a record 7.4 per cent growth in consolidated net profit to Dh10 billion in 2022 while revenues rose 4.7 per cent to Dh52.4 billion as the group successfully managed business transformation, expanding to new business verticals and diversifying the revenue streams.
In a statement, the Abu Dhabi-listed telecom giant said consolidated earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) rose 3.7 per cent to Dh26.2 billion, leading to an EBITDA margin of 50 per cent, highlighting the strong profitability of e&’s operations.
Reporting strong growth in subscriber base in the UAE, etisalat by e& recorded 13.8 million subscribers, an increase of 8.8 per cent compared to last year, and the group’s aggregate subscribers reached 163 million, an increase of 2.5 per cent over 2021.
Underlining the group’s commitment to value creation for its shareholders, e&’s board of directors proposes a dividend of Dh0.40 per share for the second half of 2022, representing a total dividend of Dh0.80 per share for 2022.
e&’s pathbreaking evolution as a tech group
The impressive growth achieved by e& in 2022 underscores the success of the its transformational evolution as a global technology and investment group. The strategic pivot reflected the vision of the Group’s leadership to embrace the new realities and stay ahead of the curve by delivering innovative digital solutions to its customers.
Building on its rich 47-year legacy of excellence, the group achieved significant progress in its transformational journey by expanding into new business verticals, diversifying revenue streams, and optimising operations. This cemented e&'s position as a leading global technology group, delivering growth and building resilience despite global macroeconomic challenges.
The group strengthened its partnerships regionally and globally to deliver high-value solutions that meet the evolving needs of communities and markets and fostering digitally connected communities.
The strong financial results are backed by e&’s focus in 2022 on unlocking new opportunities for growth and accelerating its innovation journey, by leveraging cutting edge technologies such as 5G, artificial intelligence, and the Internet of Things. This positioned the Group at the forefront of the digital era.
Building on the trust of 163 million subscribers
Chairman of e& Jassem Mohamed Bu Ataba Alzaabi, said the exceptional financial results achieved by e&, with revenues of Dh52.4 billion and a record net profit of Dh10.0 billion in 2022 is a strong testament to the success of our business transformation strategy.
“We are inspired by the UAE’s leadership to push our boundaries and be at the forefront of the digital era by developing next-generation digital connectivity and cutting-edge solutions,” he said.
“From diversifying our business and revenue streams to expanding to new verticals and introducing innovative services, we had a laser focus on leveraging the potential offered by digital transformation to create value for our 163 million subscribers across 16 markets,” he said.
“As one of the top global telecom companies by market capitalisation today, our foremost priorities in 2022 was to be the digital transformation champion and create unique solutions that meet the aspirations of our subscribers, while delivering added value to the economies we serve. We take pride in being the trusted digital and tech partner, and in bringing the latest innovations to the fingertips of our customers.
“We remain committed to serving our customers and creating long-term value for our shareholders. As a global technology and investment group, we will continue to work towards making a positive impact in the communities we serve. Our outstanding results in 2022 are the result of the dedication and hard work of our management team, who are relentless in their pursuit to establish e& as one of the world’s most admired, trusted and valuable brands, and help communities shape their digital future.”
Committed to innovation and value creation
Hatem Dowidar, group chief executive officer of e&, said 2022 has been a defining year for e& as “we strengthened our transformation into a global technology and investment group committed to digitally empowering societies. Despite various global challenges, our domestic and international operations” achieved impressive results, reinforcing our leadership position in highly competitive and evolving markets.
"Our strong fundamentals, knowledgeable and passionate team, and focus on developing innovative solutions, products, and services positioned us as one of the top providers across the communities we serve, as we empower them to unlock the true potential of the digital era. Our growth mindset enables us to achieve our goals while creating additional and long-term value for our customers and shareholders,” he said.
"e&'s strategy and progressive vision allow us to explore future opportunities while fostering strong strategic partnerships with global technology players. Prudent mergers and acquisitions further accelerated our growth and diversification creating new streams of revenue and positioned us as a leading global technology group. We are grateful to our customers and shareholders for their continued support as we continue to pioneer broad-spectrum technologies, build impactful partnerships, and contribute to shaping the digital era of the future.
“The group’s recognition as the most valuable portfolio of telecom brands in the MEA region, and etisalat by e&'s retention of its position as the strongest telecom brand across all categories in the region and one of the top three telecom brands in the world, underline the success of our strategic evolution and our commitment to building one of the fastest networks in the world.”
Among the most significant operational highlights of e& in 2022 was the acquisition of 11 per cent of Vodafone Group Plc ('Vodafone'), which as of February 2023, has increased to 14 per cent.
The group was ranked as the most valuable portfolio of telecom brands in the MEA region by the Brand Finance Global 500 report.
In other key partnerships, e& signed a three-year MoU with Ericsson to build more sustainable future networks and entered a new phase of collaboration with Microsoft to drive innovation and digital transformation. Exploring the possibilities of emerging tech, e& partnered with Meta to drive innovation with enhanced Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) experiences and conversational commerce in its digital communication projects.
Further, e&, Abu Dhabi Digital Authority (ADDA) and Trend Micro partnered to launch Cyber Eye, an initiative designed to strengthen the Abu Dhabi Government entities’ cybersecurity capabilities.
Ranked as one of the best places to work in the MENA region by Forbes, e& continues to be a talent magnet and concluded its fourth cohort of the AI Graduate Programme onboarding the next generation of leaders.
Underscoring its focus on sustainability, e& committed to achieving net zero status for Scope 1 and 2 emissions within its Group's operations in the UAE by 2030, complementing the nation’s Net Zero by 2050 Strategy. The Group also became the first UAE private sector entity to join the UAE Independent Climate Change Accelerators and launched the FutureNow Sustainability Challenge calling scale-ups from across the world to be part of developing innovative sustainable solutions.
e& international: Cutting edge innovation and achievements
e& international delivered strong performance across its footprint, growing year-over-year revenues by double digits in Egypt and Pakistan in local currency, gaining market and value share and improving its customer experience significantly to achieve the number one NPS position in most of its markets.
It launched the ‘e& Partner Networks’ to open the door to regional and local telecom operators to achieve sustainable growth through best in class services and customer experience. As part of the program, the first MOU was signed with Tunisie Telecom to provide a full suite of services across various functions.
Expanding and strengthening new verticals as part of its transformation journey, e& international partnered with AIG, a leading insurer, to create a unique digital insurance offering in selected international markets, as well as with MoneyGram International, a global leader in digital peer-to-peer (P2P) payments, in the fintech space.
e& international established a Center of Excellence for Advanced Analytics to provide data driven decision making capabilities using state of art and cutting-edge Machine Learning and AI solutions across various verticals.
etisalat by e& Egypt announced its brand identity as etisalat by e&, following the celebration of its 15th year anniversary of operations. In key partnerships, etisalat by e& Egypt also launched a new microfinance company ‘Erada’ in collaboration with the Sovereign Fund of Egypt, with the goal of providing financial inclusion and expanding the opportunities available to SMEs and youth.
A significant innovation as the launch of Mobily Pay wallet to provide personalised mobile financial services in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with a range of services such as international money transfers, prepaid cards and payments (including Sadad bill payments).
PTCL successfully deployed AirPON, an innovative Fibre-to-the-Home solution, in its Fiber Access Network. PTCL also signed a strategic partnership with Vodafone to bring Vodafone's suite of IoT products and services to government entities and large enterprises in Pakistan. Additionally, PTCL has launched a new OTT platform called ‘SHOQ’ in collaboration with evision to establish its leadership in high-quality media and entertainment content.
Ufone 4G, an operating company of PTCL and a subsidiary of e&, was awarded the number one voice and data network by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority and was also named the leading 4G services provider and a ‘Global Rising Star’ in Pakistan by OpenSignal global awards.
In Morocco, Maroc Telecom was recognised by OpenSignal for offering the best internet experience with the highest network performance speed. Meanwhile, across its African subsidiaries, MT Group has expanded its 4G and FTTH networks to increase data penetration rates and population coverage, thus improving internet access in Africa.
etisalat by e&: Pioneering new services for digital-savvy customers
etisalat by e& evolved as one of the most innovative and competitive entities in 2022, thanks to several strategic milestones including the acquisition of elGrocer, which strengthened its Smiles online marketplace. The company was ranked as the strongest telecom brand across all categories in the MEA region, according to the Brand Finance Global 500 report, and also ranked in the top three telecom brands globally.
It launched the UAE’s first of its kind Easy Insurance, an innovative insurance platform offering digital services for auto, health and travel insurance, as well as unveiled GoChat Messenger, an all-in-one free voice and video calling app.
In key partnerships, etisalat by e& joined hands with Amazon to offer eero and Echo devices for the first time in the UAE and expanded collaboration with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to serve key industries and meet the growing demand for digitalisation.
In collaboration with industry leading vendors, it launched the first global live multi-vendors VoNR (Voice over New Radio) ecosystem, and the all-new business proposition, ‘Business Pro,’ to meet the digital needs of businesses. Further supporting the business community, etisalat by e& launched upgraded and dedicated internet connectivity services such as ‘Digital Internet’ and ‘Digital Premium Internet’.
etisalat by e& accomplished the first-ever private 5G network agreement in the region, marking a significant milestone in their journey towards providing seamless connectivity solutions to their valued customers. This groundbreaking feat also enabled them to deliver the first-ever connected surveillance over 5G.
The company's connected car technology also garnered significant attention within the automotive industry, with new contracts signed with several major players. This achievement underscores the company's commitment to delivering top-of-the-line connectivity solutions to the automotive sector, propelling substantial advancement and broadening its influence on new markets.
Unveiling e& universe, e&’s virtual world at Gitex Global 2022, the business extended its support to startups by collaborating with Abu Dhabi Global Market to digitally enable such ventures. Placing the wellness of its customers as a top priority, etisalat by e& launched the first rewards-based, consumer fitness and wellness platform ‘GoWell’ and partnered with Response Plus Holding (RPM) to connect ambulances with 5G saving patients’ lives in real time.
A model corporate citizen, etisalat by e& launched an exclusive offer for senior citizens holding ‘Thukher’ or ‘Barakatna’ card to avail up to 60 per cent on four ‘Freedom’ postpaid plans, while Smiles partnered with Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiative (MBRGI) to support the global “One Billion Meals” campaign during the holy month of Ramadan.
Another milestone was the partnership with Emirati Talent Competitiveness Council (ETCC) to participate in the NAFIS initiative to hire more than 500 Emirati professionals in its retail, customer service, technology and IT space in a span of five years.
e& life: Strategic acquisitions to fuel growth
evision, the entertainment division of e& life, completed the transaction for the acquisition of a 57 per cent majority stake in STARZPLAY Arabia, a subscription video on demand (SVOD) and streaming service provider in the Middle East and North Africa, through the evision-led consortium with ADQ, an Abu Dhabi-based investment and holding company.
Strengthening its portfolio to meet the aspirations of its customers, evision acquired the exclusive broadcast rights of The Italian Serie A, Asian Cup and ICC T20 Cricket for MENA, the DP World Asia Cup and T20 world Cup on the CricLife MAX channel in the MENA region.
evision enriched its content with bingeable boxsets of content such as Anime, Korean, French and Spanish content, and launched a new trilingual South Indian movie channel ‘Emasala Simply South’ in partnership with Simply South, the largest online streaming platform.
eWallet, was rebranded as e& money to position itself as the Group's fintech arm and financial super app marketplace. As a result of the value of its services and premium customer experience, e& money was awarded the best wallet in the region by the MENA Fintech Association.
e& enterprise: maximising digital potential
Creating exceptional value for its customers, e& enterprise partnered with G42 to establish UAE’s largest data centre provider under Khazna Data Centres. It has also formed a joint venture with Bespin Global to build the largest pure play cloud managed and professional services provider in the METAP region while making a minority investment in Bespin Global’s holding company to participate in the success story of a leading global cloud-managed service provider.
It also marked the acquisition of 100 per cent of Smartworld to become its IoT and AI focused vehicle under the brand e& enterprise IoT & AI.
On the AI front, e& enterprise partnered with DataRobot to launch an Enterprise AI as a Service (AIaas) for supporting governments’ digital transformation journeys. It has also launched this year the region’s first AI Centre of Excellence (AI CoE) with Hub71, which aims to increase partnerships and collaborations between businesses, governments, investors and startups.
To enhance the businesses' ability to offer superior customer experiences, e& enterprise has launched a new business proposition - EngageX as a Communication Platform as a Service (CPaaS) ecosystem and partnered with NICE to bring the best-of-breed Cloud Communication as a Service platform to the UAE.
e& enterprise continued to expand its capabilities in KSA, building its new state-of-the-art Cybersecurity Operations Centre (CSOC) in Riyadh, established by Help AG, the cybersecurity arm of e& enterprise.
The excellent work by e& enterprise was recognised by IDC MarketScape as a Leader in IoT Consulting & Systems Integration Services.
e& capital: Nurturing startups of the future
In the significant milestones during 2022, e& capital announced its $250 million e& capital Venture Capital (VC) fund and made a strategic investment in VUZ, a leading immersive social app, as well as funded Lablabee, a tech startup which will grow the world’s first hands-on lab platform for the telco cloud.
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