Dubai — Telecoms operator etisalat on Thursday posted a 26 per cent jump in net profit to Dh8.9 billion for 2014 after royalty payment, compared to Dh7.08 billion in the previous year.
The telecommunications major, which serves a customer base of more than 169 million in 19 countries across the Middle East, Africa and Asia, said its consolidated revenues for 2014 surged 26 per cent to Dh 48.8 billion, of which Dh27.1 billion was from the UAE.
In a statement, etisalat said earnings before tax, interest depreciation and amortisation, or Ebitda, jumped 48 per cent to Dh 23.4 billion in 2014 as it completed the acquisition of 53 per cent stake in Maroc Telecom.
The Abu Dhabi-listed company, boasting high credit ratings of AA-/A+/Aa3 with stable outlook from all three leading ratings agencies, proposed a final dividend pay-out of 70 fils per share for 2014, representing a dividend pay-out ratio of 62 per cent and a dividend yield of six per cent. In addition, the goard of directors has proposed issuance of 10 per cent bonus share.
The company paid Dh5.33 billion in royalties to the UAE federal government in 2014 compared with Dh6.12 in 2013.
For the fourth quarter 2014, etisalat reported a 47 per cent jump in net profit to Dh2.14 billion compared with a profit of Dh1.45 billion profit in the year-earlier period. Fourth-quarter revenue climbed 33 per cent to Dh13.04 billion, of which Dh7 billion was generated domestically.
Etisalat’s total subscriber rose 14 per cent year-on-year to 169 million, mainly due to its acquisition of Marc Telecom, which contributed about 40 million subscribers.
Etisalat attributed its increased profit to higher Ebitda, plus lower taxes and impairment charges.
Etisalat also proposed upping its share capital to Dh10 billion from Dh8 billion.
Etisalat chairman Eissa Al Suwaidi said the company experienced growth across the business as well as jump in the number of subscribers as its footprint grew internationally.
Ahmad Julfar, group chief executive officer of etisalat, said the company’s aim is to not only realise financial benefits, but to enact real, transformational change for the millions of customers we serve.
“Our growth in these emerging markets will help to secure long-term success for etisalat, but it is the rapid growth of data usage that holds the key to the future of our industry. New, transformative platforms such as M2M and mobile identities, as well as the digitisation of traditional forms of information transfer are taking the industry to exciting new levels. In 2014, etisalat was the first operator in the Middle East to offer embedded SIM technology in line with a standard international specification,” said Julfar.
Etisalat Group aggregate subscribers as at the fourth quarter of 2014 were at 169 million, reflecting a 14 per cent increase year-over-year. In the UAE, the active subscriber base grew to 11 million subscribers in the fourth quarter of 2014, representing a year-on-year growth of six per cent and quarter-over-quarter growth of two per cent.
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