Etisalat Group reported an annual profit for 2017 of Dh8.44 billion, up from Dh8.42 billion a year earlier, registering an increase of 0.24 per cent.
The consolidated revenue for the group fell by 1.33 per cent to Dh51.66 billion last year compared to Dh52.36 billion a year ago, the company said in a statement on the Abu Dhabi stock exchange.
“This is mainly attributed to the impact of unfavourable exchange rate movements in Egyptian pound against dirhams,” the statement said.
Etisalat UAE revenues increased by 2.8 per cent year on year as a result of growth in subscriber base in mobile postpaid and eLife segments, higher demand for mobile and fixed data services, and increased offering of business solutions, digital and ICT services.
Sukhdev Singh, vice-president at market research and analysis services provider Kantar AMRB, told Gulf News that a drop of just 1.33 per cent in a difficult economic climate is a rather good result. One must also consider the fact that compared to 2016, Egypt, one of the important markets for the brand, depreciation of the pound sharply by almost half triggered a huge inflation of about 30 per cent throughout 2017.
“In the UAE, the brand seems to have done well by consolidating on postpaid connections helping revenue growth. Any growth in postpaid is considered more rewarding as AMPU (Average Minutes Per User) in case of postpaid is more than double of prepaid consumers in the UAE,” he said.
With positive economic movement and the run-up to 2020 activities gaining steam, he said that local telcos shall see stronger growth this year.
The telecom operator, which operates in 17 markets across the Middle East, Africa and Asia, did not give a detailed breakdown of the fourth-quarter results.
But according to Gulf News statistics, the telecom operator made a fourth-quarter profit of Dh1.94 billion, compared to Dh2.2 billion a year earlier, witnessing a fall of 11.82 per cent.
The operator made of revenue of Dh13.43 billion in the fourth quarter compared to Dh12.94 billion a year ago.
Etisalat Group, which entered the Nigerian market in 2008 through Emerging Markets Telecommunications Services Ltd (EMTS), following the procurement of a 15-year Universal Access Service License (UASL) in 2007 by Mubadala, exited the market in July last year.