UAE-based telecoms company Etisalat has announced its preliminary consolidated financial results for the year ended 31 December 2010, reporting a fall in net profit from AED8.8 billion (USD2.4 billion) in 2009 to AED7.6 billion a year later, thanks in part to increased competition in the firm’s domestic mobile market. Etisalat lost 50,000 wireless subscribers in 4Q10 bringing the total to 7.76 million at year-end, according to The National, while internet customers dropped by 20,000 to 1.33 million. However, net revenue totalled AED31.9 billion in FY10, an increase of 2% compared to AED31.3 billion a year earlier, helped by the group’s international operations.
‘Despite the global financial crisis and a competitive UAE telecoms market, our 2010 financial results overall have been good,’ commented Mohammad Omran, chairman of Etisalat, adding: ‘These satisfactory results reveal that Etisalat remains a profitable company.’ Omran said that in anticipation of diminishing growth opportunities in its domestic market – due to high wireless saturation and the economic situation – the firm has developed a long-term strategy that will maintain the rate of growth, revenues and profit margins. This includes diversifying its source of income and moving towards regional and international markets. Omran noted that international group revenue grew 46% over 2009, reflecting increasing competition in the home market, and a growing focus on other emerging markets. Future growth will also come from mobile data and both fixed and mobile broadband services. At the end of 2010 Etisalat reported a total of 135 million subscribers across 18 countries.