UAE telecoms operator Etisalat announced that net profit during the first quarter of the year fell marginally to Dhs1.809 billion, down from Dhs1.82 billion during the same period in 2011.
While the company’s consolidated revenues reached Dhs8.2 billion during the period, a two per cent year-on-year rise, operating costs rose 6.7 per cent year-on-year to Dhs5 billion.
“Strong performance in international markets, particularly Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Afghanistan and Nigeria, accounted for 21 per cent growth in revenue year-on-year,” the company said.
“While competition has eroded margins on voice services in our home market, our view of the telecommunications industry is that growth will continue to come from the emergent, international markets and higher margin services,” Ahmad Abdulkarim Julfar, Etisalat’s group CEO said in a statement.
“Already we are seeing diversification of our revenues by services and geographies and less reliance on the UAE market,” he said.
Etisalat, which operates in 17 countries in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, saw 2011 net profit fall 24 per cent to Dhs5.8 billion, partly because of impairments relating to Indian affiliate Etisalat DB.
The company has reported falling profits in seven of the past eight quarters.