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UAE’s Etisalat Sees 2013 Revenue Of Up To $9.4bn

UAE’s Etisalat Sees 2013 Revenue Of Up To $9.4bn

The telecoms operator posted a record revenue of $8.97 billion last year, up 2.2 per cent from 2011.

Etisalat, the Gulf’s No. 2 telecom operator, expects 2013 revenue of up to $9.4 billion, according to a presentation the company gave to analysts, with the former monopoly also looking to consolidate its smaller assets.

This consolidation in what it terms “fragmented markets” could be through mergers, acquisitions or asset sales, the document states.

The United Arab Emirates’ largest listed company, which has operations in 15 countries in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, has suffered a sustained profit slump in recent years as it took write downs of $1.6 billion on troubled foreign units and tougher competition at home and abroad also weighed on the bottom line.

Etisalat’s 2012 profit was Dhs6.74 billion ($1.84 billion), down 24 per cent from a 2009 peak of Dhs8.84 billion. Yet revenue has grown over this period, reaching a record high of Dhs32.95 billion ($8.97 billion) last year.

This was up 2.2 per cent from a year earlier. The company expects revenue to grow three to five per cent in 2013, according to the presentation.

This would lead to full-year revenue of between $9.24 billion and $9.42 billion. Etisalat does not normally provide a profit or revenue outlook to the stock market.

The company did not provide a precise profit forecast in the presentation, but does warn margins will be under pressure, with earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) slated to be 49-51 per cent of revenue this year, compared with 51 per cent in 2012.

Capital expenditure is expected to be 14-16 per cent of revenue, up from 13 per cent last year, the document showed.

Etisalat confirmed the presentation, but declined further comment.

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