UAE-based telecoms operator Emirates Telecommunications Corporation (Etisalat) has reported its preliminary consolidated results for the year ended 31 December 2009, announcing net revenues of AED30.83 billion (USD8.93 billion), an increase of 5% compared to AED29.36 billion posted in 2008. The company’s net profit for full-year 2009 rose to AED8.836 billion, up from AED8.511 billion a year earlier, which included profit from the sale of shares in Saudi cellco Mobily of AED892 million. Excluding this exceptional item, net profit after federal royalty for 2009 would have increased by AED1.217 billion, 16% higher than 2008. Total assets increased 13% to AED40.38 billion compared to AED35.62 billion in 2008. Etisalat did not reveal quarterly figures, but Reuters has calculated 4Q09 profit at AED1.99 billion (39% higher than the year-ago quarter), based on previous financial statements.
The number of Etisalat’s domestic mobile subscribers exceeded 7.74 million at 31 December 2009, up 6% year-on-year, while fixed line customers reached 1.31 million (a fall from 1.358 million in 2008) and internet subscribers grew 16% in 2009 to total 1.33 million, although the company did not reveal how many of those were broadband users. In 2009 Etisalat launched its ‘eLife’ fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) network and is currently working on making Abu Dhabi the first capital city in the world to be totally connected by fibre-optic infrastructure. The company is also aiming to make the UAE one of the first countries in the world to be entirely covered with fibre-optic services in 2011.