Etisalat group profit 5 per cent on strong revenues.
Etisalat Group on Tuesday reported a five per cent jump in 2013 profit to Dh7.1 billion after expanding its footprint in new international markets.
The group, which operates in 15 markets in the Middle East, Asia and Africa, registered revenues of Dh38.85 billion compared to Dh32.95 billion in 2012, registering a growth of 17.90 per cent.
"The results for the year reflect substantial advances in our strategy, demonstrated by subscriber growth, supporting revenue and EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) increases of 18 per cent and 12 per cent respectively. Given such strong financial performance, the board decided to recommend total dividend payout of 70 fils per share for the year 2013," Etisalat Chairman Eisa Al Suwaidi, said in a statement.
Etisalat paid a full dividend of 70 fils per share for 2012 compared to 60 fils in 2011. 2013 dividends are to be paid on April 13th to the shareholders registered as at the closing of business day on April 6th.
The Ministry of Finance said that etisalat will pay a royalty of 15 per cent on its revenues and 35 per cent on profits between 2012 and 2015. In 2016, it is required to pay a royalty of 15 per cent on revenues and 30 per cent on profits.
Operating profit before royalty increased by 23 per cent year on year to Dh14.5 billion while improved its financial flexibility with a net cash balance of Dh9.6 billion.
"Etisalat's revenues in the UAE were up quite noticeably year-on-year. Most likely that is quite largely due to the improving economic conditions in the country. Less positively, etisalat's revenues in Egypt were down, due to the continued political and economic instability there; and revenues from other international operations were pretty much unchanged," said Matthew Reed, principal analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media.
In 2013, etisalat and Vivendi signed a share purchase agreement relating to the acquisition of Vivendi's 53 per cent stake in Maroc Telecom; acquired a Universal Mobile Service License in Benin; Etisalat launched its mobile commerce platform "Flous" in nine of its operating markets to reach a total of 11 countries.
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