Nasser Bin Obood Al Falasi, Acting CEO for Etisalat
Etisalat today announced its preliminary consolidated financial results for the year ending 2010. Etisalat's Group Net Revenues for year ending 31 December, 2010 reached AED 31.9 billion, which is 2% higher than year 2009 Net Revenues of AED 31.3 billion. Net assets for 2010 also recorded a 5% growth over 2009 from AED 40.4 billion to AED 42.6 billion.
Etisalat also announced a net profit of AED 7.6 billion for the Group, compared to AED 8.8 billion in 2009. Earnings per share reached AED 0.97 during 2010, compared to AED 1.12 in 2009. Earnings per share for 2009 were adjusted for bonus shares issued in 2010.
Commenting on these results, Mohammad Omran, Chairman of Etisalat, said: "Despite the global financial crisis and a competitive UAE telecoms market, our 2010 financial results overall have been good. These satisfactory results reveal that Etisalat remains a profitable company."
"Etisalat realised well ahead of time that growth opportunities in the UAE telecom market would start diminishing due to high saturation of the UAE's mobile market. We anticipated the effect that it would have on current market conditions. Therefore, we developed a long-term strategy that would maintain the rate of growth, revenues and profit margins for our stakeholders - primarily the UAE federal government who owns 60% of the corporation - by diversifying our source of income and moving towards regional and international markets," Omran continued.
"The growth in the international group revenue, excluding UAE, has reached 46% compared to 2009, and these markets continue to hold promise in coming years. Etisalat is committed to ensure the continuity of being pioneers in launching the latest technology to all of its customers across all our subsidiaries. Today Etisalat is generating revenue from most of its international operations ahead of forecasts," Omran added.
"Etisalat's investment strategy focuses on expansion of telecommunication services in low penetration, emerging international markets. This gives Etisalat huge opportunity for growth and increased revenue, as substantiated by Etisalat Group's growing number of subscribers which has reached 135 million customers across 18 countries over a total area inhabited by more than two billion people," Omran continued.
"In 2010, Etisalat increased its investment in some African markets. During the year, the corporation acquired new shares in Atlantic Telecom which operates in seven countries in West Africa, and acquired additional shares in Zanzibar Telecom Ltd (ZANTEL in Tanzania), and in Sudan-based Canar Telecommunications Company Ltd. The total capital expenditure for acquiring these shares has reached AED 1bn. These markets are high-potential markets for growth and subscriber numbers," Omran concluded.
Nasser Bin Obood Al Falasi, Acting CEO for Etisalat, said: "In light of the slowdown in subscriber growth numbers as a result of repercussions from the economic climate and high saturation in the UAE market that exceeded 200% as per recent research from the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), Etisalat has adopted a strategy that suits current climate conditions by offering new and innovative services with the aim of achieving a healthy growth rate, while offering increased benefits to customers and ensuring the latest technologies are available to them."
Bin Obood added: "Etisalat has witnessed an extraordinary growth in mobile data usage due to a boom in Smartphones and Etisalat's robust and reliable 3G network, the fastest in the region. Etisalat is utilising its advanced infrastructure, in addition to partnering with international operators, to support growth in the UAE business sector, to enhance the growth opportunity of small - mid-sized businesses."
"In spite of the challenges faced, Etisalat continued to invest in developing the UAE's telecommunication infrastructure, such as an AED 5 billion investment in an advanced fiber-optic network, a technological revolution in the region. Furthermore, our additional investment in Long Term Evolution (LTE), and 4G will ensure the UAE is placed on the global map as one of the most connected countries in the world," Bin Obood added.
Obood concluded by emphasising on the positive outcome of the corporation's restructuring plans and its long-standing commitment to social responsibility and community development. He stated that Etisalat's contribution towards supporting such initiatives and activities over the past four years is estimated at around AED 1.3 billion.