Tech company e& posts 3% rise in 2023 profit on robust economic growth

Revenue rises 2.5% as demand for digital services grows

The UAE's e& continues to grow its customer base as it diversifies its portfolio, allowing it to expand locally and overseas. Antonie Robertson / The National
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UAE telecoms and technology company e&, formerly Etisalat Group, has reported an increase of about 3 per cent in its 2023 net profit on the back of robust economic growth in the markets it serves.

Net profit attributable to shareholders of the company in the 12 months ended December rose to more than Dh10.3 billion ($2.8 billion), from Dh10 billion in 2022, the company said in preliminary results filed with the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, where its shares are traded.

Revenue climbed by about 2.5 per cent annually to Dh53.8 billion while total assets were up by about 1 per cent to Dh146.83 billion. Earnings per share stood at Dh1.18, from Dh1.15 in the previous year.

The Abu Dhabi-based company did not include fourth-quarter figures in its preliminary results.

E& mainly attributed its 2023 results to “outstanding commercial performance and robust overall economic growth in [the] UAE and international markets, alongside heightened demand for digital services”.

However, it said revenue was affected by foreign exchange rate volatility in the international markets it serves.

“At constant exchange rates, e& reported strong financial and operational performance,” it said, noting its revenue increase reflected growth in all of its key markets.

With the telecoms industry disrupted heavily by technology, operators are rapidly transforming their operations to add new revenue lines as competition intensifies.

E& is open to acquisitions or partnerships that will allow it to diversify its portfolio, expand locally and overseas, and increase its consumer base, the company's executives previously told The National.

The company is also projected to lead revenue growth in the GCC telecoms sector this year as companies shore up their assets in new international markets, according to Moody's Investors Service.

By acquiring assets in new regions and offering products and services there, telecoms companies are expected to boost their 2023-2024 revenue by an average of 3 per cent, the New York-based rating agency's study showed.

In December, e& wholly acquired the Pakistani unit of Norwegian telecoms operator Telenor in a push to cater to the South Asian country's growing market.

The UAE company continues to acquire and invest in start-ups in an attempt to boost its digital services amid heightened demand from consumers in a digital economy.

Earlier in December, e& completed the acquisition of a 50.03 per cent stake in Careem Technologies, commonly known as Careem Everything App, for $400 million, allowing it to tap into several digital services and expand its reach across different geographies.

In August, the conglomerate's investment arm, e& capital, led a $5 million series A funding round for Maxbyte, an Abu Dhabi-based technology company providing Fourth Industrial Revolution solutions in the automotive, defence, utilities and food and beverage sectors.

Updated: February 14, 2024, 7:24 AM