The UAE’s biggest telecoms operator e& — formerly known as Etisalat — reported a nearly 2 per cent rise in third-quarter net profit, despite revenue falling 2.4 per cent.
Net profit for the company in the three months to the end of September jumped to Dh2.5 billion ($680 million), compared with Dh2.4bn during the same period in 2021, e& said in a statement to the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, where its shares are traded..
Its revenue during the quarter reached Dh13bn, almost Dh300m less than the same period last year.
“e&’s performance in Q3, 2022 reflects our unwavering commitment to accomplishing more for the benefit of our customers, shareholders and the communities we serve,” said Hatem Dowidar, group chief executive of e&.
“We are focusing our efforts on adopting flexible and agile business models that fuel our growth through innovation and creating new value propositions.”
For the first nine months of 2022, the company’s revenue amounted to Dh39.32bn, while the net profit during the period surged to Dh7.36bn.
The number of the company’s subscribers in the Emirates reached 13.3 million in the third quarter, representing an increase of 11 per cent over the same period last year. The aggregate group subscribers reached 162 million, a 4 per cent yearly increase.
Abu Dhabi-based e& was founded in 1976 and is the UAE's oldest telecoms company. It has operations in about 16 countries across the Middle East, Asia and Africa, serving more than 156 million customers.
In February, e& rebranded as it sought to transform into a global technology investment conglomerate.
Consolidated capital expenditure decreased by 41 per cent on annual basis to Dh1.6bn in the third quarter of 2022. It resulted in a capital intensity ratio of 12 per cent, nearly eight percentage points lower than the same period of the prior year.
However, in the UAE, capex during the quarter amounted to Dh600m, a 6 per cent increase in comparison to the same period last year.
Capital spending was driven by the company’s ongoing commitment to expand its “superior quality network, reinforcing our leadership position”, e& said.
“This includes the deployment of 5G network in the UAE, expansion of fibre network within the countries of Maroc Telecom Group and Pakistan as well as the expansion of mobile networks coverage,” it added.
The company provides innovative digital solutions, smart connectivity and next-generation technologies to a variety of customer segments through its business pillars — etisalat by e&, e& international, e& life, e& enterprise and e& capital.
Earlier this month, e& launched a $250m venture capital fund as part of its new investment unit, e& capital, to support the tech start-up ecosystem. The e& capital VC fund will seek to attract, engage and support start-ups and provide them with access to investor and expert networks.
“Given that e& was built on strong foundations, we remain confident in leading change for growth by reinforcing our commitment to enhancing the quality of our innovative solutions to meet and surpass our customer expectations through the accelerated digitalisation seen in the business landscape,” Mr Dowidar said.
“We will continue our efforts to seize new growth opportunities and pursue strong partnerships that will ultimately maximise the potential of a holistic digital transformation for our customers.”