Vijay Valecha, Special to Gulf News December 9, 2021
UAE as a global trade, tourism, and finance hub was impacted during the 2020 pandemic. It's not surprising then that the country bounced back strongly when the global economies reopened for business.
Tourists have swarmed the country because of mass vaccinations and then there was the start of Expo 2020. In addition, the UAE aspires to be a leader in the 5G domain to advance in technology and communications. Etisalat is one of the companies that stand to benefit from the region's shift in macroeconomic conditions.
With operations in 16 Middle East, African and Asian countries, it has a market valuation of Dh316.38 billion. Consolidated revenues for the third quarter totalled Dh13.3 billion, up 2 per cent year-on-year and 0.6 per cent quarter-on-quarter. It maintains stable profits with a 1 per cent increase to Dh2.4 billion year-on-year.
Revenue growth was fuelled by rising demand for data connections, with overseas operations growing and UAE demand remaining stable. Driven by robust growth in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Pakistan and Morocco, the total subscriber base reached 155 million in the third quarter, increasing 4 per cent year-over-year. In addition, consolidated capital spending was up by 77 per cent to Dh2.7 billion, representing 21 per cent of the consolidated revenue on account of a series of licensing and acquisition deals in Pakistan, Mauritania, and Egypt to capture a wider market share in the MENA region.
Etisalat has several growth initiatives in place to expand as a market leader in the Gulf. The Group has successfully acquired an additional investment in Etisalat Investment North Africa, bringing its effective ownership in Maroc Telecom Group to 53 per cent, and also reached a deal to buy 100 per cent of the online delivery service elGrocer. The purchase is intended to help Etisalat's digital objectives by unlocking synergies that will generate a broad and integrated product range.
Set the 5G rolling
Etisalat has established a worldwide benchmark in 5G, from network launch to services, with infrastructure ready to handle all 5G devices and future solutions. This is backed by continuous investments ion the networks, thus providing improved 5G connections. More tourist arrivals also resulted in an increase in prepaid users in Etisalat's dominant mobile segment.
The group has a dividend yield of 3.31 per cent paid on a semi-annual basis. In July, the board of directors announced the first interim dividend for 2021 at Dh0.40 a share. The telco’s current stock price is Dh36.38, a roughly 100 per cent increase last year.
The Group has exhibited resilience in the face of ever-changing consumer requirements and market changes. It remains committed to delivering on strategic objectives that will allow a better digital future while also providing new ways to interact with businesses and customers.Source: