Etisalat is reporting a 23 per cent profit drop in its third quarter results as local competition hits overall revenues and its operating expenses rise.
The UAE's largest telecommunications operator said its third quarter net profit fell to Dh1.74 billion (US$473 million) from Dh2.25 billion a year earlier. The figures fell short of analyst expectations, which estimated that Etisalat would report earnings of Dh2.02 billion in its most recent quarter.
Revenues fell by more than 8 per cent to Dh7.315 billion compared to Dh7.996 billion in the same period last year.
Operating expenses factored heavily into Etisalat's earnings, rising 12 per cent to Dh4.11 billion in the quarter. Several factors including rising salaries, regulatory expenses and depreciation led to the increase in Etisalat's operating costs.
Etisalat's main rival du is expected to report its third-quarter earnings next week. Analysts expect du to report earnings of Dh138 million, a 75 per cent rise compared to last year.