Etisalat posts 17% rise in Q2 net profit
Operator focuses on high population, high growth markets
Etisalat on Wednesday announced a net profit after federal royalty of AED1.9bn ($517m) for the second quarter of 2012.
The figure represented growth of three percent over the previous quarter, and a year-on-year growth of 17% on quarterly Group consolidated revenue of AED8.252bn, an increase of four percent year-on-year.
The company, the Gulf's No 2 telecom operator, said in a statement that revenue from international operations grew by 14% to AED2.3bn.
In the UAE, revenues declined by 0.4% to AED5.643bn due to lower voice revenues in both mobile and fixed segments.
Etisalat said it was focusing on creating value in high population, high growth markets such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
It added that it maintained a solid financial position with a consolidated cash balance of AED10.5bn, leading to a positive net cash balance of AED5.2bn
Etisalat chairman Eissa al-Suwaidi said: "We have seen a year-on-year increase of 20.5% in operating profit and 17% net profit on the back of strong market development in Egypt, Benin, Gabon, Togo, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka, a result of our on-going commitment to regional market development and growth.
"Our strategy is clear. Following the industry trend to invest in overseas markets over the past decade, we are now focusing on creating value in high population, high growth markets such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
"Our network readiness in these markets, coupled with the introduction of innovative data services, are key drivers to economic growth.
Ahmad Abdulkarim Julfar, group CEO, Etisalat, added: "By consolidating our successful overseas expansion strategy with the introduction of new future-proof network technologies such as FTTH and LTE, we are confident that this positive growth trend will continue.
"We will continue to focus on providing innovative customer-oriented solutions that deliver a premium experience both in local and overseas markets to help transform the communities in which we operate and to accelerate social development and economic growth."
Etisalat Group said aggregate subscriber numbers grew to 172 million by end of June, 22% up on the year-earlier figure and two percent up on the previous quarter.
It added that subscriber growth was mainly driven by new product and services in matured markets and by further market penetrations in growth markets.
In the UAE, its active subscriber base grew to 8.9 million, a rise of seven percent year-on-year and two percent up on Q1.
Fixed line subscribers reached 1.1 million, down eight percent while internet subscribers grew by nine percent to 0.8 million.