Emirates Telecommunications Group Company (e&) reported consolidated revenue of Dh26.33 billion in the six-month period ended June 2022, a Dh109 million (0.4 per cent) drop compared to the year-ago period.
Profit was up 2.5 per cent to Dh4.865 billion, an increase of Dh120 million over H1 2021, the company said.
Net assets decreased by Dh2.56 billion to Dh55 billion as at June 30, 2022, compared to December 31, 2021.
The Board of Directors has approved an interim dividend of 40 fils a share for H1-2022, which is more or less on par with recent years. During this period, the UAE telecom giant made a complete brand switch - from Etisalat to e& - and also announced its participation in Win, the digital-only bank launched with other Abu Dhabi heavyweights such as FAB, ADQ, etc.
There was also a deal to buy a majority stake in Starzplay Arabia, the OTT platform, as e& expanded its leisure and entertainment choices.
At constant exchange rates, revenue increased by 3.8 per cent.
Growing subscriber base
The number of etisalat by e& subscribers in the UAE reached 13.3 million in H1 2022, representing an increase of 10 per cent over the same period last year, while aggregate group subscribers reached 160 million, a 2.5 per cent increase.
Major diversification plays
In synchronised moves to diversify the revenue stream, e& acquired around 2,766 million shares in UK’s Vodafone Group Plc, representing 9.8 per cent of Vodafone’s issued share capital (excluding treasury shares); completed the acquisition of elGrocer - the delivery platform based in the UAE - under the Smiles brand; launched region’s first telco-linked NFT collection to ‘strengthen blockchain legacy’; announced the readiness of SmartHub Datacentre as the ‘future telecom hub in the region’; and Partnered with Abu Dhabi headquartered G42 for the UAE and Middle East’s largest data centre provider - Khazna Data - to support the creation of a digital ecosystem.
In a statement, Jassem Mohamed Obaid Bu Ataba Alzaabi, Chairman, said: “Our financial performance reinforces e&’s success story and its strong standing, tackling the challenges and rising to every opportunity to execute our ambitious plans we embarked on earlier this year and set the momentum for the remainder of 2022.”
“On the Vodafone stake buy, this has 'great potential to drive value for both companies as we explore potential collaboration opportunities in the rapidly developing global telecom market and support the adoption of next-generation technologies," said the CEO, Hatem Dowidar. "We are confident that the efforts during the first half of 2022 will help us be even better positioned to bring the full potential of the digital world to our customers across all segments by strategically building blocks that enable a future-ready business model."