x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Etisalat rings up 18m new subscribers

Etisalat has gained 18 million new customers as the UAE telecoms giant expanded operations overseas.

Etisalat has gained 18 million new customers as the telecoms giant expands operations overseas.

The region's biggest telecommunications operator by market value said its subscriber base had surged 15 per cent to 141 million across the group.

The latest figures came as the company released its first-quarter corporate earnings.

Revenues in the period ended March 31 reached Dh9.6 billion, an increase of 17 per cent from the year-earlier period, as the company included revenues from its unit in Pakistan for the first time.

"Overall these results are very good and reflect the efforts being made in the UAE to maintain market share and grow our offerings, the strength of our operations in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Pakistan, and the continued growth across our remaining markets of operation," he said.

Quarterly net profit stood at Dh1.82bn, an increase of 1 per cent when compared with the year earlier. Etisalat's shares, listed on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, were suspended from trading yesterday. The stock has risen 10 per cent this year, closing at Dh10.05 on Monday.

The operator paid shareholders a cash dividend of 70 fils per share for last year, compared with a payment of 60 fils per share in 2011. Net profit for last year rose 15 per cent to Dh6.7 billion.

The operator is in the midst of a bidding competition for the acquisition of a US$6bn stake held by France's Vivendi in Morocco's biggest telecoms operator.