UAE-based Etisalat Group has reported a 3% rise in first half net profit despite a fall in revenues. Consolidated profit after federal royalty payments was AED4.6 billion (USD1.25 billion) for the first six months of 2020, on revenues which fell 1% year-on-year to AED25.6 billion. Capital expenditure on its network dropped 17% in the first half of the year to AED2.4 billion.
Etisalat chairman Obaid Al Tayer was cited by The National as saying: ‘Etisalat Group has delivered a good performance in the first half of 2020 considering the circumstances. The world is voyaging through uncharted waters and COVID-19 has affected all industries, including the telecom sector. Etisalat managed to adapt, respond and demonstrate resilience as we ensured the delivery of uninterrupted services to our customers, and had the privilege of supporting our society through various initiatives.’
At the end of June 2020 state-backed Etisalat had 146 million subscribers in 16 countries across the Middle East, Asia and Africa, up 2% y-o-y. Its domestic fixed and wireless user base dropped 5%, however, to 11.8 million.
Meanwhile, rival UAE operator Du said first half sales fell 5% to AED3.0 billion, while net profit plummeted 38% to AED570 million. Its results were impacted by ‘movement restrictions, low business activities and [a] shift in customer behaviour’ due to COVID-19, it said.