Etisalatjan2019
Etisalat on Tuesday proposed a dividend of 40 fils a-share for the second half of 2019, bringing the total annual shareholder payout to 80 fils. Image Credit: File photo

Dubai: Etisalat on Tuesday proposed a dividend of 40 fils a-share for the second half of 2019, bringing the total annual shareholder payout to 80 fils.

The telecom giant’s full-year dividend is in line with its existing payout policy, which has stayed unchanged since 2015. Prior to that the company paid 70 fils annually.

Analysts have widely considered telecom companies to be stable businesses in the UAE, and often looked at as strong cash generators – which is why dividend-preferring investors like to invest in these stocks.

In an earlier filing, the firm had flagged that profit for 2019 rose one per cent to Dh8.7 billion compared to Dh8.6 billion in the previous year. A year earlier, Etisalat posted a 2.4 percent rise in annual net profit.

“Etisalat’s performance in the past year is a reflection of the company’s capabilities and agility to transform and lead in the digital space driven by our robust vision and strategy,” said Chairman Obaid Humaid Al Tayer.

Tech push

Etisalat has been investing heavily in new technologies, especially in 5G. Earlier this month, Etisalat inked a multi-year 5G and artificial intelligence (AI) partnership with Microsoft.

In December last year, it deployed Multi-Access Edge Computing (MEC) that will pave the way for Etisalat to roll out new 5G-styled services.

(MEC is a network architecture that brings real-time, high-bandwidth, low-latency access to radio network information, allowing operators to open their networks to a new ecosystem and value chain.)

The deployment of MEC architectures will be critical for 4G/5G service providers, as it allows them to significantly reduce latency, which is essential for delivering the new breed of revenue-generating services such as virtual reality gaming, autonomous driving, augmented reality, IoT, and many others.

“5G today will give an opportunity to spur innovation across many industries while enabling emergent technologies to become an integral part of UAE economy and lifestyle,” Obaid Humaid Al Tayer added.

Revenue dips

Consolidated revenues had dipped marginally 0.4 per cent to Dh52.18 billion, which the telecom firm cited to decrease in revenues of international operations due to currency fluctuations and decrease in the mobile revenue of UAE operations.

However, Etisalat also had recorded a 6 per cent in subscriber base, reaching 149 million.

Its earnings per share grew from Dh0.99 to Dh1 year-on-year basis. But Its operating profits dropped from Dh12.67 billion to Dh11.79 billion.

Total assets grew by 2.4 per cent to Dh128.2 billion in 2019.