Etisalat’s shareholders today backed the board’s recommendation to pay full 2013 dividends of 70 fils per share during the annual general meeting held at the company’s headquarters in Abu Dhabi.
The board proposed the dividend share after the release of the 2013 annual results, as a reflection of the strong results achieved during the fiscal year ended 31 December. The growth of net subscribers grew from nine million to 148 million by end of December 2013.
Etisalat achieved an increase in the net profit after Federal Royalty that reached Dhs7.1 billion. The Group’s operating profit before Federal Royalty also increased by 23% year-on-year to Dhs14.5 billion, while the Group’s Consolidated EBITDA for 2013 grew to Dhs18.9 billion, representing a year-on-year growth of 12%.
Etisalat Chairman Eissa al-Suwaidi said, “On behalf of Etisalat board members, I would like to start by thanking the leadership of the UAE for their continued and unwavering support, our shareholders for their trust, employees for their dedication and most of all, our customers for their loyalty and faith in our services.
Al-Suwaidi said, “We are proud of the progress that we have madein 2013. Etisalat’s full-year consolidated revenues grew to Dhs38.9 billion; representing an 18% increase from 2012. Additionally, thefull year revenue from international operations increased by 47%year-on-year to Dhs13.8 billion, representing 36% of consolidated revenues.
He added during the AGM meeting, “Etisalat is keen to ensure that its shareholders benefit from its achievements. Therefore, Etisalat’s board, backed by the General assembly, decided to reward the shareholders with 70 fils per share, relying on the financial result’s net profit of 2013. I would like to take this opportunity to assure you today that Etisalat is determined to continue moving forward in achieving its objectives and future aspirations.”
“Etisalat will also continue its approach of assessing and seizing valuable acquisition opportunities that reinforce its overall strategy which allows it to expand internationally, as well as add value to its stakeholders and customers by providing them with distinctive opportunities. This will contribute in diversifying income, benefits and resources, reflecting positively on the shareholders’ revenues.
“Etisalat is in a strong position to embrace the changes and challenges that are enveloping the telecoms industry and have enabled it to continue to add value to customers, shareholders and the communities in which we operate. We will continue to focus on providing a unique experience and superior service in the future. By putting customers at the heart of everything we do, we are enhancing our current success and planting the seeds of future growth.
“Etisalat’s growth to become one of the industry’s largest companies brings new opportunities. As we think about what the future holds for Etisalat and our investors, we know that our continued growth will be driven by our ability to innovate and by our aptitude for identifying new investment opportunities.”
Ahmad Abdulkarim Julfar, Group Chief Executive Officer, Etisalat, commented, “We have maintained positive momentum within our financial results and we have continued to invest in both the scale and service provision of the Group.”
He added, “Our key focus in 2014 and beyond is to ‘Aspire Forward’ in a way that enhances the leading position of the UAE among international governments. Etisalat is now the enabler of many innovative e-services, most noticeably in government. A clear example of this is the smart government initiative which we have seen in the UAE for many years and which was reinforced further by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President & Prime Minister of UAE, Ruler of Dubai, in his smart government vision.
“Etisalat witnessed during this year a strong growth in the data and Internet segments, and revenues will continue to grow as we benefit from our investment in infrastructure, including the establishment of the world’s most extensive Fiber-To-The-Home (FTTH) network. By utilising best technological and innovative solutions available globally, we are connecting government entities, businesses and individuals to the services they demand, at exceptionally fast speeds.
Etisalat Group has successfully introduced secure and life-changing mobile finance technologies across its footprint in places such as Afghanistan, Tanzania and recently in Sri Lanka, Egypt and Niger. Mobile money technology is now at a very mature level and offers significant benefits for communities, particularly those with lower incomes.
He concluded,”We still have a lot of work to do to build our capabilities and launch services in areas such as M2M, e-commerce, video and cloud services. With the support of our Government, shareholders, employees and customers, I am confident that Etisalat will do so and that it will deliver on its strategy of becoming a leading international telecommunications provider.”
In recognition of Etisalat’s technology and service innovations, the company picked up the ‘Best NFC/Mobile Money Service’ award at the coveted GSMA’s Mobile World Congress 2013 held in Barcelona, Spain. This was followed by three major awards that also recognised the company’s Mobile Money service, namely, the Financial Times Award for ‘Special Commendation Technology in Sustainable Finance’, Mobile Money Global Awards for ‘Best Bank Led Mobile Money Programme (Egypt)’ and ‘Best Mobile Money Deployment in the Middle East’.