Etisalat rings in record profit on mobile subscription growth

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Etisalat rings in record profit on mobile subscription growth
Etisalat's aggregate subscriber base reached 162 million.

Dubai - Telco posts net annual profit of Dh8.4b for 2016


Issac John

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Published: Wed 8 Mar 2017, 8:21 PM

Last updated: Wed 8 Mar 2017, 11:37 PM

Telecom operator Etisalat on Wednesday announced a net annual profit of Dh8.4 billion for 2016, and proposed a final dividend payout of 40 fils per share for the second half of 2016, representing a total dividend payout of 80 fils for the full year.
The telecom giant reported two per cent growth in consolidated revenues to Dh52.4 billion for 2016. In the fourth quarter revenues rose three per cent to Dh12.9 billion, while net profit after federal royalty was Dh2.2 billion.
While the group's aggregate subscriber base reached 162 million, in the UAE it grew to 12.3 million subscribers in the fourth quarter of 2016 representing a year on year growth of six per cent. "Subscriber growth continued to be driven by strong performance of mobile and eLife segments. The mobile subscriber base grew year on year by seven per cent to 10.4 million subscribers," the group said in a statement.
Etisalat, which was the first in the region to conduct live 5G trials, and to launch a live and operational Telco Cloud infrastructure as part of its virtualisation plans, said the UAE ranked number one globally for the highest fibre network connectivity, with household penetration of 93.7 per cent. Etisalat chairman Eissa Mohamed Al Suwaidi said the group continues to strengthen its position as one of the leading operators in emerging markets.
"In the face of global economic pressure, Etisalat Group has, once again, demonstrated strong performance, evidence of a business that is both robust and resilient."
"In terms of achievements, 2016 was a very important period for 'Etisalat Group' as we laid key foundational steps in our journey towards digital transformation.," he said.Engineer Saleh Al Abdooli, group chief executive officer, Etisalat Group, said the financial results are a testimonial of the group resilience and ability to mitigate the pressures arising from the global economic slowdown.
"Etisalat Group has maintained its high ratings with international credit agencies, and is serving a large and strong customer base across its international footprint, with a considerable potential to grow further"
"In 2016 we have crossed another critical milestone in our journey as we started to pursue an ambitious agenda in the digital space; the same is a necessity in order to maintain our leadership position in local and international markets as digital becomes the next big thing. Our focus remains on providing governments, businesses and individuals with innovative, simple, and relevant solutions that harness the power of technology and maximizes their potential."
Meanwhile, Etisalat's Nigerian affiliate said it is in talks with local banks to renegotiate the terms of a $1.2 billion loan it took out four years ago to expand its network in the country after missed payments.
Ibrahim Dikko, vice-president for regulatory affairs at Etisalat Nigeria, said etisalat missed payments due to an economic downturn in Nigeria, a currency devaluation there and dollar shortages on the country's interbank market.
"We are in discussions with our bankers and have been for quite a while. They have not taken over the business and we are hoping that we can resolve the issue and find a way to renegotiate terms," said Dikko.

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