Dubai: Etisalat reported a 26 per cent 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 Dh2.5 billion ($680.7 million) in the three months to June 30, up from Dh1.98 billion in the year-ago period, according to Reuters calculations.

Etisalat, which beat the Dh2.19 billion 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 Dh4.5 billion, up 19 per cent year-on-year, the statement said.

Consolidated revenue

In May, Etisalat bought a 53 per cent stake in Maroc Telecom , which also has operations in Gabon, Mauritania, Burkina Faso and Mali, for €4.14 billion.

The purchase helped boost consolidated revenue for the second quarter and its subscriber base at June 30 by 27 per cent year-on-year, to Dh12.6 billion 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 Dh0.35 per share. This matched the payout for the same period of last year, according to Thomson Reuters data.