After recording stellar revenues and a net profit rise in the second quarter, Etisalat is pushing to expand its digital services across its entire network. The operator’s revenues rang up Dh13.2 billion, a 5.6 per cent increase year-on-year in the April to end June period, with growth at its domestic and international operations.
Egypt was a big contributor, with revenues there up 27 percent boosted by mobile data and roaming, followed by Morocco where revenues were up 8 per cent. Group-wide consolidated revenues amounted to Dhs26.4 billion for the first-half of 2021, while the group’s consolidated EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) achieved Dh13.4 billion and a margin of 51 per cent. The board approved interim dividends of 40 fils per share.
Having established a subscriber base of 12.1 million in the UAE - and 156.1 million across all markets - Etisalat is exploring the development of 6G, the next-generation mobile network even as it rolls out the 5G version. Etisalat also completed a 1 billion bond issue to refinance a maturing euro bond tranche.
Eye for a deal
Etisalat has dashed over $505 million to increase its stake in Moroccan operator Maroc Telecom Group. The deal will positively impact Etisalat’s earnings and help to boost dividends to investors. Etisalat has struck a deal with Abu Dhabi Fund to acquire its interest in Etisalat Investment North Africa (EINA), which maintains a stake in Maroc. The acquisition cost will be funded by bank borrowings.
Maroc is the primary telecom services provider in Morocco with over 19.6 million mobile connections at the end of the second quarter. It also functions in 11 countries in West Africa. Etisalat will increase its existing holding in the firm from 48.4 per cent to 53 per cent.