Maroc acquisition lifts Etisalat’s first-half profit to Dh4.5 billion

The number of subscribers across the group rose 27 per cent to 182 million.
Etisalat's acquisition of a majority stake in Maroc Telecom bolstered its bottom line. Jaime Puebla / The National
Etisalat's acquisition of a majority stake in Maroc Telecom bolstered its bottom line. Jaime Puebla / The National

Etisalat, the UAE’s biggest telecoms operator, reported a 19 per cent rise in first half profit as its mobile subscriber base grew on the back of the Maroc Telecom deal.

Etisalat, with subsidiaries in 19 countries, reported net income of Dh4.5 billion as the number of subscribers across the group rose 27 per cent to 182 million.

Given that the company reported a first-quarter net profit of Dh2.0bn, that would put the second-quarter net at Dh2.5bn (Etisalat did not break out the second-quarter figures in yesterday’s release).

Revenue reached Dh12.6 billion in the half, up 27 per cent from the same period last year.

Etisalat finalised the acquisition of a 53 per cent stake in Maroc Telecom in May, which gave it access to new African markets such as Burkina Faso, Mauritania and Mali.

Also yesterday, Etisalat proposed a cash dividend for the first six month of the year of 35 fils per share. The dividend level is unchanged from last year.

Telecoms operators such as Etisalat are facing pressure on the voice side of their business as Skype and Viber continue to increase in popularity. But mobile and fixed data revenues have helped to drive earnings growth.

Etisalat released the first-half results after markets had closed yesterday. The shares had finished the day’s trading at Dh11.80 each.

So far this year, the Abu Dhabi-listed stock has lagged the market with a scant gain of 0.8 per cent.

selgazzar@thenational.ae

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Published: July 20, 2014 04:00 AM

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