The UAE’s biggest telecoms operator e& — formerly known as Etisalat — reported a 1.5 per cent rise in second-quarter net profit as its number of subscribers grows.
Net profit attributable to the owners of the company for the three months to the end of June rose to Dh2.43 billion ($745 million), compared with Dh2.39bn during the same period in 2021, the company said in a statement on Monday to the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, where its shares are traded.
Revenue for the telecoms operator reached Dh12.99bn in the second quarter, 1.7 per cent lower compared with the Dh13.21bn recorded in the same period last year.
For the first half of 2022, consolidated revenue amounted to Dh26.32bn, representing a decrease of Dh109m (0.4 per cent) compared to the corresponding period in the prior year.
Profit attributable to the owners of the company during the six-month period amounted to Dh4.86bn, representing an increase of Dh120m (2.5 per cent), when compared to the corresponding period in the prior year.
The group's net assets decreased by Dh2.55bn to Dh55bn as at June 30, 2022, compared with December 31, 2021.
“Our telecoms business has been the growth engine behind our company and its transformation into a techco,” said Hatem Dowidar, group chief executive of e&.
“This has helped solidify our leadership across our geographic footprint as well as grow adjacencies organically and through acquisitions.”
The group incurred Dh3.47bn in capital expenditure in the six-month period ended June 30, compared with Dh2.69bn in same period last year.
The company’s board approved the interim dividend of 40 fils per share for H1 2022.
Total subscriber numbers reached 13.3 million at the end of the second quarter, representing an increase of 10 per cent over the same period last year, while aggregate group subscribers increased 2.5 per cent to 160 million, the operator said.
Based in Abu Dhabi, 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.
“Our financial performance reinforces e&’s success story and its strong standing, tackling the challenges and rising to every opportunity to execute our ambitious plans we embarked on earlier this year and set the momentum for the remainder of 2022,” said Jassem Mohamed Bu Ataba Alzaabi, chairman of e&.
In June, the company launched a new messaging platform called GoChat Messenger that allows users in the UAE to make free voice and video calls to anywhere in the world, as well as remit money, pay bills, play games, read the latest news and run polls.
In the same month, it completed a deal with artificial intelligence provider G42 to merge their data centre services under Khazna Data Centres as they seek to cater to increasing digital infrastructure requirements in the region.
The company also bought elGrocer, an online marketplace for groceries that operates across the Emirates, in January. It did not disclose the exact value of the deal, however.
In its outlook, e& said that, since its evolution into a global technology and investment conglomerate earlier this year, it has continued its journey with steady progress in creating innovative solutions using next-generation technologies and pursuing strong local, regional and international mutually beneficial partnerships that create value and benefit its customers, enterprises and communities.