UAE-based telecoms operator Etisalat has posted its fiscal results for the six months ended 30 June 2009, recording a 10% year-on-year rise in revenue to AED14.74 billion (USD4.01 billion). Meanwhile, net profit totalled AED4.59 billion for the first half of 2009, down from AED5.05 billion reported in the same period a year earlier, though 2008 results included AED892 million earned from the sale of shares in Saudi cellco Mobily. Excluding this exceptional item, net profit after federal royalty for the six months ended June 2009 was 11% higher than the same period in 2008. Total assets stood at AED67.24 billion at end-June 2009, up 7% year-on-year. ‘The growth in revenues achieved will help us expand and develop our national and international business units,’ said Mohammed Omran, chairman of Etisalat, adding, ‘We have reduced our operational expenditure in the period and have become even more selective in choosing our international investments. We are achieving this by making use of the current financial environment and searching for positive opportunities that arise during these times.’
In terms of subscribers, the company posted a domestic mobile subscriber base of 7.26 million at 30 June 2009, down by 81,000 compared with the end of the first quarter. Domestic fixed line subscribers also fell by 19,000 to 1.33 million during the second quarter of 2009, although Etisalat’s internet customer base grew from 1.20 million to 1.23 million in the same period. According to the chairman, Etisalat a worldwide subscriber base of more than 85 million subscribers from a population base of 1.7 billion, and expects customer numbers to reach 100 million in 2010.