Abu Dhabi-based telecoms group Emirates Telecommunications Corporation (Etisalat) has reported revenues of AED9.604 billion (USD2.6 billion) for the first quarter of 2013, an increase of 17% from AED8.205 billion in the year-ago period, on the back of a 53% year-on-year rise in turnover from international operations to AED3.459 billion. Domestic revenues reached AED6.007 billion in the first three months of 2013, an increase of 4% year-on-year, primarily driven by growth in data and wholesale revenues. Egyptian unit Etisalat Misr generated turnover of AED1.136 billion in 1Q13, a decrease of 6% compared to the year-ago quarter, mainly due to the currency devaluation against the dirham, although in local currency terms sales actually grew by 5% year-on-year, thanks to customer acquisitions and growth in the mobile data segment. Etisalat’s Africa cluster contributed AED694 million (up 2% year-on-year) and Asian operations accounted for AED1.629 billion (up 332%), boosted by the inclusion of Etisalat’s operations in Pakistan (PTCL) for the first time. Etisalat, which is 60% owned by the UAE government, said that EBITDA climbed 23% from AED4.094 billion in the three months ended 31 March 2012 to AED5.035 billion twelve months later, mainly due to revenue growth. Domestic EBITDA accounted for AED3.516 billion of the total (up 3% year-on-year), while international consolidated operations contributed AED1.088 billion (an increase of 100%). Consolidated net profit after royalty rose 1% to AED1.825 billion in Q1 2013.
At the end of March 2013 Etisalat reported a total of 141 million aggregate subscribers, an increase of 15% from 122 million a year earlier. In the UAE, total subscribers reached 9.3 million (up 7%), including 7.4 million mobile customers (up 7%) and 800,000 fixed broadband customers (up 9%). Africa cluster subscribers meanwhile grew 27% year-on-year to 12.2 million, while customers in the group’s Asia segment increased by 29 million over the twelve-month period to 36.6 million, thanks to the consolidation of Etisalat’s Pakistan operations since 1 January 2013.