Dubai: Consolidated International operations substantially increased etisalat’s revenue share year-on-year by 89 per cent mainly due to the consolidation of Maroc Telecom.

Etisalat purchased Vivendi’s 53 per cent stake in Itissalat Al Maghrib (Maroc Telecom) for €4.2 billion (Dh19.6 billion) in cash in May. Etisalat bought into Maroc Telecom through a separate legal entity, etisalat International North Africa (Eina).

The group acquired additional 20 per cent equity in Tanzania’s Zantel, increasing its stake to 85 per cent.

Ahmad Abdul Karim Julfar, Chief Executive Officer of Etisalat Group, said that the group will continue to expand its service offering throughout the markets in order to diversify its revenue base and cement our regional leadership position.

Etisalat’s revenue from Africa cluster grew year-on-year by over 400 per cent to Dh3.7 billion during the quarter while Asia contributed 11 per cent or Dh1.5 billion revenues to the group and Egypt contributed seven per cent or Dh1.2 billion to the group.

“Africa remains an important strategic region for our business; we see incredible opportunity for growth as markets continue to develop and flourish,” he said.

Bhanu Chaddha, telecommunications research manager at International Data Corporation (IDC), said that Africa and Asia are incrementally becoming their important markets, especially Africa.

Revenue target

It is a good way to diversify their revenue portfolio.

Etisalat has won a 3G licence in Pakistan and that will add “more value down the line” and help etisalat in achieving its 50 per cent international revenue target.

Since the UAE market is getting saturated, Chaddha said that international operations are now delivering the benefits for etisalat and that strategy is moving in the right direction.

The group’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (Ebtida) increased 51 per cent to Dh7 billion.

In the UAE, Ebitda increased year-on-year by eight per cent to Dh3.9 billion.

“In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, we are entering a transformation phase with Mobily that we are confident will further add to our future growth and the strength of our offering throughout the Kingdom,” he said.

“By consolidating our position, we have continued to grow in our home market, but we are also increasing our foothold and profitability in international markets,” he said.