Etisalat profit up 15% in 2012 [Khaleej Times (United Arab Emirates)]
(Khaleej Times (United Arab Emirates) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) ABU DHABI Emirates Telecommunication Corporation's consolidated profit rose 15 per cent to Dh6.74 billion after paying federal royalty in 2012.
The telecom popularly known as etisalat, which has an aggregate subscriber base of 139 million, grew strongly by 18 per cent year-on-year in 2012. In the UAE where the company is facing strong competition subscriber numbers grew 12 per cent to seven million in the year, while fixed-line subscribers fell six per cent to 1.1 million. Fixed-line broadband subscribers grew eight per cent to 0.8 million.
The second-biggest phone company in the Middle East by market value reported revenues fell one per cent to Dh22.7 billion as a decline in voice revenue in mobile and fixed-line phones was reported.
Net income in 2012 climbed to Dh6.74 billion from Dh5.84 billion, a year earlier the company said in a statement to the Abu Dhabi stock exchange on Tuesday.
The mean estimate of nine analysts was for a profit of Dh7.54 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The telecom's total assets expanded to Dh80 billion as at December 31, 2012, against Dh72.8 billion.
The company saw its debt falling to Dh5.8 billion in the year against Dh6.6 billion. Cash reserves climbed to Dh8.1 billion at the end of the year from Dh3.1 billion.
Etisalat is weighing options, including debt financing, to fund the potential acquisition of Vivendi's $6 billion stake in Maroc Telecom, group chief executive Ahmad Julfar said last month. The company is seeking as much as $8 billion of loans to back a potential bid, according to two people with knowledge of the deal.
The board recommended a 45 fils-a-share dividend for the second half, taking the total 2012 dividend to 70 fils a share. The company paid a dividend of 60 fils for 2011, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
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