e& Group’s subscriber base grows to 173 million in Q1 2024
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e& Group’s subscriber base grows to 173 million in Q1 2024

e& Group’s subscriber base grows to 173 million in Q1 2024

The company’s UAE subscriber base grew 4.5 per cent annually to 14.5 million while aggregate subscribers rose by 5 per cent to 173 million

Kudakwashe Muzoriwa
e& Group’s Q1 subscriber base jumps to 173 million

UAE telecoms giant e& Group reported on Tuesday a 7 per cent increase in first-quarter net profit, driven by an increase in the company’s subscriber base and expansion of partnerships across its verticals.

e& Group’s revenues in the three months to March 31 reached $3.9bn (Dhs14.2bn), a 9 per cent increase compared to the same period a year earlier, while its net profit jumped by 7 per cent year-on-year to Dhs2.3bn from Dhs2.1bn during the same period under review.

“The group’s efforts towards forming new partnerships across the business ecosystem to deploy emerging technologies that drive next-generation digital connectivity has played a significant role in this success journey,” Jassem Mohamed Bu Ataba Alzaabi, e& Group’s chairman said in a statement.

We are pushing the boundaries of technology, empowering millions of people with innovative solutions and making breakthroughs in supporting the UAE’s well-defined vision for digital transformation.”

The telecoms major’s UAE subscriber base grew 4.5 per cent annually to 14.5 million, while aggregate subscribers increased by 5 per cent on an annual basis to 173 million. The mobile subscriber base increased by 5.3 per cent on a yearly basis to 12.8 million subscribers, attributed to “solid YoY growth in both the prepaid and postpaid segments”, e& said in a bourse filing.

Similarly, the Abu Dhabi-listed firm said eLife subscriptions rose by 5.1 per cent annually to 1.2 million subscribers.

e& and its partners in the Global Telco AI Alliance set up a joint venture in Q1 2024 to develop telco-specific Large Language Models (LLMs) to advance customer service through advanced artificial intelligence solutions.

During the first quarter, the company pledged to invest $6bn over the next two years to advance technological and infrastructure development, and boost digital solutions in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.

The investment is set to provide accessible and affordable network connectivity and digital services in 16 markets it serves across the three continents.

e& Group chases global deals

With a market capitalisation of Dhs147.8bn as of May 1, 2024, e& has emerged as one of Abu Dhabi’s top overseas investors along with the emirate’s various sovereign funds. The group’s expansion plans fit with Abu Dhabi’s ambition to grow state-owned entities through acquisitions, creating companies with large international footprints.

The UAE telecoms firm is reportedly considering an acquisition of European cable and pay-TV operator United Group at a valuation of around EUR8bn($8.6bn).

e& agreed to acquire a controlling stake in PPF Telecom Group’s assets in Bulgaria, Hungary, Serbia and Slovakia for $2.4bn in August 2023, following through on the group’s plan to boost its global presence by diversifying into new geographies.

The deal includes as much as EUR350m in milestone payments if PPF exceeds certain targets, and has a clawback provision of as much as EUR75m if it does not. It also marked the Abu Dhabi firm’s second large foray into Europe since its investment in Vodafone.

The company has built up a stake in UK’s Vodafone since its initial investment in May 2022 and the two companies agreed to deepen their relationship in May 2023.

Its group CEO Hatem Dowidar joined the board of Vodafone last May and he will stay on the board for as long as the company maintains its current 14.6 per cent stake in the British telecoms company.

Read: UAE’s e& to invest $6bn to advance connectivity in 16 countries

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