Strong international operations lift Etisalat’s FY 2020 profit

Waheed Abbas/Dubai
Filed on February 23, 2021
File photo

Telecom major’s annual profit rises 3.8% to Dh9 billion

Etisalat’s consolidated net profit increased 3.8 per cent to Dh9 billion (b) last financial year (FY) following a strong growth in the international operations that outweighed the decline in its UAE business.

Etisalat's aggregate subscriber base reached 154 million (m) in FY 2020, registering a year-on-year increase of 3.6 per cent.

Its 12-month consolidated revenues reached Dh51.7b, down 0.9 per cent. While capital spending fell 20 per cent to Dh7.1b.

Etisalat’s board proposed a dividend payout of 40 fils per share for the second half of FY 2020, taking total dividend to 80 fils for the full year. But the board proposed cancellation of the share buyback programme and instead proposed a one-time special dividend of 40 fils per share.

The total ‎dividend per share for FY 2020 is Dh1.20, the UAE’s largest telecom operator said in its financial results released on Tuesday.

Obaid Humaid Al Tayer, Chairman of Etisalat Group, said despite the unprecedented global impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the telecom major demonstrated robust financial performance.

“Revenue and net profit growth were witnessed in our international markets while the domestic market experienced a decline in both due to the pandemic and market maturity. The telecom industry has proven to be the backbone of the new-norm and a tool of empowerment,” said Al Tayer.

“It was, indeed, a challenging year. However, across our operations we remained committed and took necessary steps to support our customers and the communities we serve. Our prime focus was to ensure business continuity and the sustainability of high-quality services in a manner that was safe for our employees and customers,” said Hatem Dowidar, chief executive officer (CEO), Etisalat Group.

“Moving forward, I’m confident that we will remain in a strong position compared to our global peers and other industries by maintaining our momentum and continuing our efforts to address several industry-wide challenges, focusing on operational areas of improvement and creating group synergies to capture further value.

“We’re looking beyond business as usual achievements and aiming to accelerate several key strategic priorities,” he added.

The telecom major said its consolidated earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (Ebitda) amounted to Dh26.4b, an increase of 0.3 per cent compared to the previous FY.

Etisalat’s net profit for the fourth quarter amounted to Dh2b, rising 4.4 per cent year-on-year. While Q4 revenues decreased 2.1 per cent to Dh13.1b. Capital spending also fell in the last quarter by 27 per cent to Dh2.9b.

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