Abu Dhabi-listed Etisalat reported a 7.6 per cent rise in first-quarter profit on Sunday, with its acquisition of a majority stake in Maroc Telecom having helped to lift revenue by nearly a third and its subscriber base by a fifth.
Etisalat, which operates in 19 countries across the Middle East, Africa and Asia, made net profit of Dhs2.18 billion ($593.6 million) in the three months to March 31, the company said in a statement, against Dhs2.02 billion a year earlier.
Two analysts polled by Reuters had forecast that the Gulf’s No.2 telecoms operator by market value would post quarterly profit between Dhs2.16 billion and Dhs2.47 billion.
The United Arab Emirates’ former monopoly generated quarterly revenue of Dhs12.91 billion, up from Dhs9.9 billion a year earlier.
Domestic revenue rose 11 per cent to Dhs7.2 billion, while international revenue jumped by 69 per cent to Dhs5.6 billion.
The international increase was because of Etisalat’s consolidation of Maroc Telecom after it bought a 53 per cent stake in the African operator for 4.14 billion euros last May, plus rising income from Etisalat’s operations in Nigeria and Afghanistan.
Maroc Telecom, which has operations in Gabon, Mauritania, Burkina Faso and Mali and this year also acquired Etisalat’s subsidiaries in six African countries, reported first-quarter net profit of 1.32 billion Moroccan dirhams ($133.10 million) on Thursday, down 10.2 per cent year on year.
Etisalat had 173 million subscribers at March 31, up 19 per cent from a year earlier.