Eissa Al Suwaidi
Etisalat profit jumps 26pc on Maroc Telecom buy
Abu Dhabi, July 20, 2014
Etisalat reported a 26 percent jump in second-quarter profit on Sunday, beating analysts' estimates, as the UAE firm's acquisition of a majority stake in Maroc Telecom bolstered its bottom line.
The former telecom monopoly, which operates in 19 countries across the Middle East, Africa and Asia, made a net profit of 2.5 billion dirhams ($680.7 million) in the three months to June 30, up from 1.98 billion dirhams in the year-ago period, according to Reuters calculations.
Etisalat, which beat the 2.19 billion dirham average forecast of analysts polled by Reuters, did not give a quarterly net profit breakdown in its results statement.
Net profit for the first six months of 2014 rose to 4.5 billion dirhams, up 19 percent year-on-year, the statement said.
In May, Etisalat bought a 53 percent stake in Maroc Telecom , which also has operations in Gabon, Mauritania, Burkina Faso and Mali, for 4.14 billion euros.
The purchase helped boost consolidated revenue for the second quarter and its subscriber base at June 30 by 27 percent year-on-year, to 12.6 billion dirhams and 182 million users respectively, the statement said.
Etisalat, the Gulf's No.2 telecom operator by market value, proposed a cash dividend for the first six months of 2014 of 0.35 dirhams per share. This matched the payout for the same period of last year, according to Thomson Reuters data.
The company's aggregate subscriber base grew by 27pc year on year (June 2013- June 2014) to reach 182 million subscribers by end of June 2014, benefiting from the consolidation of Maroc Telecom, it said
Eissa Al Suwaidi, chairman of Etisalat, said: “The overall constantly remarkable performance of Etisalat shows our dedication to become the leading and most admired emerging market telecom group.
“The key development for this quarter was completing the acquisition of Vivendi’s 53pc shareholding in Maroc Telecom, which we are confident it adds a great value to Etisalat and its shareholders, besides the other key developments we witnessed in different markets, and it will have a transformational impact on Etisalat and its key financials. Maroc Telecom is a well-run company, and this acquisition is the largest deal in the history of our great company and a truly exciting moment for us all. This remarkable milestone could not have been reached without the wise leadership for the continuous support of the UAE government. They play a vital role in enabling innovation in the telecommunications sector, and we would like to thank them for their support as we pursued this important acquisition. ”
Ahmad Abdulkarim Julfar, the chief executive officer at Etisalat Group, said: “This acquisition marked the largest and most complex deal in the history of Etisalat, and will completely change the telecoms landscape in Africa; it is one of the largest cross-border M&A transactions in the MENA region of all time, and it expands Etisalat’s reach to 19 markets.
“Our experience in markets across Middle East, Africa and Asia will truly complement Maroc Telecom’s deep expertise in their home market and in other markets in Africa,” he said. -Reuters, TradeArabia News Service