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Etisalat CEO resigns; company posts 6.7% drop in 2015 net profit

Etisalat CEO resigns; company posts 6.7% drop in 2015 net profit

Ahmad Julfar has resigned for personal reasons, the telecom operator said

The chief executive officer of United Arab Emirates telecom operator Etisalat Ahmad Julfar has resigned, the company revealed on Thursday.

In a statement announcing its financial results, the company said Julfar resigned for personal reasons.

The board has accepted his resignation and appointed chief operating officer Hatem Dowidar as acting CEO.

Dowidar said: “I will be working over the next three months with the board to further optimise the group structure.”

Meanwhile Etisalat also posted a 6.7 per cent year-on-year drop in net profit for 2015 despite a 5.9 per cent rise in revenues.

The company announced that net profit after federal royalty amounted to Dhs 8.3bn last year, compared to Dhs 8.9bn in 2014.

Meanwhile annual consolidated revenues for 2015 rose to Dhs 51.7bn from Dhs 48.8bn in 2014.

Etisalat Group aggregate subscribers stood at 167 million as of December 31, 2015 down marginally compared to 169 million in December 31, 2014.

The company said its board has proposed a final dividend payout of 40 fils per share for 2015, representing a total dividend payout of 80 fils for the full year.

Etisalat chairman Eissa al-Suwaidi said: “Increases in revenues and maintaining strong performance, despite the global challenges facing the telecom sector, is evidence that we continue to provide value to our shareholders and customers.

“I want to praise the government’s continued support and for allowing institutional and foreign ownership of Etisalat’s equity in 2015. This landmark decision will have a positive impact both on Etisalat’s shareholders and the stock exchange.”

In September last year, state-owned Etisalat changed its rules to permit foreign and institutional investors to own shares worth up to 20 per cent of the company. However, they will not have any voting rights.

Following the move, the company was included in MSCI’s emerging market index in November last year.

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