Etisalat Group announced its consolidated financial statements for the three months ending 31st March 2015.
Q1 Financial Highlights:
• Aggregate subscriber base reached 173 million representing net addition of 28 million subscribers during the last 12 months;
• Consolidated net profit after Federal Royalty amounted to AED 2.2 billion resulting in a net profit margin of 17% and increased year over year by 8%.
• Consolidated revenues for the first quarter amounted to AED 12.9 billion and increased year over year by 30%.
• Consolidated EBITDA for the first quarter totalled AED 6.6 billion, representing an increase of 33% year on year and resulting in EBITDA margin of 51%.
Q1 Key Developments:
• Etisalat completes the sale of the six West African operations of Atlantique Telecom to Maroc Telecom.
• Etisalat acquires additional equity in its subsidiary Canar and increases its stake to 92.3%.
• Maroc Telecom awarded 4G licence in Morocco.
• Etisalat won two awards for innovation at the GSMA’s Global Mobile Awards: “The Best Use of Mobile for Retail, Brands & Commerce” category for its Mobile Cashier product offering and “The Mobile Connect Award for Best Authentication & Identity Solution” for Etisalat Mobile Connect service.
• Etisalat the first to launch 4G LTE, eLife services over VSAT technology in the Middle East region.
• Etisalat shareholders approved Board’s recommendations to increase the authorised share capital to AED 10 billion, in addition to a full year cash dividend for fiscal year 2014 of 70 fils and a 10% bonus share at the Corporation’s Ordinary General Assembly Meeting and Extraordinary General Assembly Meeting held on 24 March 2015.
• Launched a research and development programme with international partners for the next generation of technology: 5G.
• Extended Mobile Connect – a first in the region service for online security – across most country operations through international strategic partnership.
• Announced strategic partnership to develop the solutions needed to deliver M2M and Internet of Things to the market.
• Winner of the inaugural Drones World Cup among the Government Entities for its innovative use of technology that enhances services to the community.
• Launched trials of advanced Single Carrier 400 Gbps technology in its transmission network.
Ahmad Julfar, Group Chief Executive Officer, Etisalat commented: “The strong financial results in the first quarter of 2015 was not only built upon our strong performance in 2014, but also provides a solid foundation for the remainder of the year. Continued growth in revenue, profits and subscribers in Q1 continues a pattern of growth that we have experienced over a long period. It is this solid foundation which allows us to move forward in confidence as the leading operator in emerging markets, delivering advancements in each of the countries we operate in.”
“The expansion of our award winning Mobile Connect service extends our first in the region offering across all the majority of our operations, highlighting the leadership we are playing in the region. Mobile Connect empowers businesses and individuals by protecting identities both online and through mobile devices. It epitomises our approach to business; creating innovative solutions and providing advancement in each of the markets we operate in. It is services such as this which will determine that we remain ahead of the game.”
He continued, “Whilst our operations across the region continue to grow, our position in the UAE remains as strong as ever. Subscribers to our range of services continue to increase and we are constantly looking to bring new solutions to market. In this quarter we launched trials for advanced single carrier technology, which will bring even greater speeds to customers and we continue to support the Government’s drive for Smart Cities.”
“To make initiatives such as Smart Cities a reality requires innovation and investment. Our strong financial performance provides the base to move forward, as we cannot afford to stand still in the rapidly developing telecommunications industry. That’s why we continue to forge strong partnerships which will help secure our future.”
He elaborated further, “Data is the future and we must develop ways of making this profitable for our shareholders and of delivering the future solutions that will help governments, businesses and individuals maximise its potential. 5G, M2M and the Internet of Things open up more exciting possibilities about how governments can deliver services, how businesses operate and how individuals live their lives. Telcos are the enabler of this future and we must ensure Etisalat is at the forefront of delivering solutions that work for all.
He concluded: “Quarter 1 has provided a strong start to the year, but, in line with our business strategy, we will continue to expand our service offering across our footprint in order to diversify our revenue base and cement our regional leadership position.”
Etisalat Group aggregate subscribers as at the first quarter of 2015 was 173 million reflecting a 19% increase year over year. The net addition of 28 million subscribers in the year was mainly a factor of consolidation of Maroc Telecom and strong growth in UAE, Nigeria, and Afghanistan. Quarter over quarter subscribers increased by 2%.
In the UAE the active subscriber base grew to 11.4 million subscribers in the first quarter of 2015 representing a year on year growth of 4% and quarter over quarter growth of 3%.
For Maroc Telecom the subscriber base was 51.6 million customers at the end of the first quarter of 2015, representing a year over year growth of 32%.
Nigeria continues to evidence strong subscriber growth with year over year growth of 19% to 22.2 million subscribers as at 31st March 2015. Quarter over quarter growth was 5%.
Etisalat Group’s consolidated revenue for the first quarter of 2015 was AED 12.9 billion with growth accelerating by 30% in comparison to the same period last year. In the UAE, revenue in the first quarter grew year on year by 11% to AED 7.2 billion and 3% quarter over quarter. This growth was as a result of strong performance in voice and data in both the fixed and mobile segments.
For international consolidated operations revenue for the first quarter of 2015 increased year over year by 69% to AED 5.6 billion, representing 44% of Group consolidated revenue.
Maroc Telecom consolidated revenue for the first quarter of 2015 amounted to AED 2.9 billion. In local currency revenue grew year over year by 10.2% driven by consolidation of newly acquired operations and growth in historic international subsidiaries.
Group Consolidated EBITDA for the first quarter of 2015 increased by 33% to AED 6.6 billion while EBITDA margin increased 1 point to 51% year on year. Compared to the fourth quarter of 2014 EBITDA increased 10% with the EBITDA Margin increasing 5 points.
Net Profit and EPS:
Consolidated net profit after Federal Royalty increased year over year by 8% to AED 2.2 billion in the first quarter of 2015. The increase in profit is attributed to higher EBITDA level, forex gain and lower royalty charges.
Adjusted earnings per share (EPS) amounted to AED 0.25 in the first quarter of 2015; an 8% increase from the same period last year. Shareholders approved the increase of the authorised share capital of the corporation from AED 8 billion to AED 10 billion.
Etisalat Media Desk