Company’s mobile customer base rises 8.9 per cent to 7.9 million; postpaid customers up 10.7 per cent to 1.5 million; and fixed customer base climbs 37.3 per cent to 537,000
The company, which was incorporated in 2005 and operates two brands — du and Virgin Mobile, said its revenues in fourth quarter staged a remarkable growth of over eight per cent due to continued strength in service sector. — Supplied photo
Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (EITC) on Tuesday announced that its annual profit surged 10.8 per cent to Dh1.22 billion in 2022 due to increase in the company’s subscribers base due to increase in population and tourism activity.
The Dubai Financial Market-listed telecom company said its revenues hit pre-pandemic levels and climbed 9.2 per cent to record Dh12.75 billion on sustained demand for broadband services and 5G handsets as well as a gradual recovery of mobile services.
The company, which was incorporated in 2005 and operates two brands — du and Virgin Mobile, said its revenues in fourth quarter staged a remarkable growth of over eight per cent due to continued strength in service sector.
The UAE’s second telecom operator also noted that its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and motivation (EBITDA) rose 12 per cent to Dh5.14 billion due to strong growth in service revenues, margin expansion and containment of cost increase despite inflationary pressure. It noted that higher EBITDA and lower net finance costs were offset by an increase in depreciation and royalty charges.
5G network expansion
In 2022, the company invested Dh2.2 billion as evidenced by the rapid 5G network roll-out while operating free cash flow increased by 47.3 per cent to Dh2.9 billion due to higher EBITDA and the start of normalisation of capital expenditures spend.
Malek Sultan Al Malek, chairman of EITC, said 2022 was an extraordinary year for the company as its business performed exceptionally well due to a robust economic environment fuelled by population growth, an increase in tourism activity, GDP growth as well as strong commercial momentum.
Malek Sultan Al Malek, chairman of EITC, said 2022 was an extraordinary year for the company.
“In 2022, we turned a net profit of Dh1.22 billion and generated an operating free cash flow of nearly Dh3 billion. Notwithstanding sustained investments, our business remains highly cash generative and our balance sheet solid with Dh5.3 billion in available liquidity,” he said.
“The board is recommending to increase the full-year dividend to 24 fils per share, out of which 11 fils per share were already paid in August 2022 as an interim dividend. This corresponds to a 14.3 per cent increase and a distribution of 99.1 per cent of net profit after appropriation for statutory reserves,” Al Malek said.
The telecom giant said its mobile customer base rose 8.9 per cent to 7.9 million on strong net-additions (494,000) in the last quarter of 2022. It noted increase in postpaid customers and a significant growth in prepaid customers during the October-December quarter.
“Our postpaid customer base climbed 10.7 per cent to 1.5 million, including net-additions of 53,000 in fourth quarter, on healthy net-additions across the consumer and enterprise segments,” according to a EITC statement.
The prepaid customer base also increased to 6.4 million subscribers due to population growth and high tourism activity last year. It included 441,000 net-additions during the October-December quarter, the statement added.
EITC also noted 37.3 per cent year-on-year growth in fixed customer base to 537,000 subscribers on solid net-additions of 27,000 in fourth quarter. It added 146,000 new customers in 2022 due to the company’s commercial activities across various product categories and the disciplined execution of its broadband strategy.
New business model
“In 2022, we accelerated the recovery that we initiated the previous year. We increased our commercial dynamism and focused on innovation to capture value,” Fahad Al Hassawi, chief executive at EITC, said.
Fahad Al Hassawi, chief executive at EITC, said EITC’s new business model, sharper focus, higher innovation and enhanced execution helped the company to deliver strong EBITDA at Dh5.14 billion.
“Our new mobile products such as unlimited mobile data plans helped us reverse the declining trend in our mobile business while new fixed home wireless services have been extremely well-received and has attracted a new segment of customers. This allowed us to deliver an excellent 9.2 per cent growth in revenues to reach Dh12.75 billion, surpassing pre-pandemic levels,” he said.
Al Hassawi said EITC’s new business model, sharper focus, higher innovation and enhanced execution helped the company to deliver strong EBITDA at Dh5.14 billion, 10.8 per cent increase in net profit at Dh1.22 billion and improve margins.
“We made tangible progress on our 5G network roll-out, fiber deployment and IT transformation,” he said.
Al Hassawi said EITC will continue on the same path to become a leading digital telecom operator.
“We have proved that we can innovate to push growth in our business. We will continue to invest in our infrastructure and in our people to accelerate innovation and continue our transformation programme,” he said.
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