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Mixed fortunes in Q1 for UAE telcos

23 Apr 2020

International telco group Etisalat of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has reported a 1% year-on-year increase in first-quarter consolidated revenues to AED13.1 billion (USD3.6 billion), as EBITDA climbed 1.5% to AED6.7 billion. Net profit after federal royalty stood at AED2.2 billion. The group, which has operations across the Middle East, Africa and Asia, claimed 150 million subscribers at the end of March, up 5% from twelve months earlier, including 12.7 million customers in its domestic market.

Obaid Humaid Al Tayer, Etisalat Group Chairman, said the company is minimising the impact on operations and services being caused by the current COVID-19 pandemic, commenting: ‘Etisalat’s performance in the first quarter reflects our agility in dealing with unprecedented market challenges and pressures facing the telecom sector globally … Moving ahead, we remain optimistic about the future as there are immense opportunities in the midst of the challenges and pressures faced by the telecom sector globally.’

Separately, UAE rival Du has recorded a 4.8% fall in first-quarter revenues to AED2.99 billion and a 21% decrease in net income to AED355 million. In a statement to the Dubai Financial Market (DFM), the firm said: ‘In Q2 2020, we expect a stronger negative impact resulting from the general lockdown of activity, the limitation of sale activity, the change of customer behaviour and the strong reduction of tourism and trade activity.’ There was a 13.5% annualised drop in Du’s mobile customer base to 7.44 million at end-March 2020.

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