UAE-based operator group Etisalat reported a near 50 per cent increase in net profit in Q4, thanks in part to the contribution of Maroc Telecom.
In the three months to end December, the group said its net profit grew by 47 per cent to AED2.14 billion ($583 million).
Etisalat is present in 19 countries across the Middle East, Africa and Asia but one country made a particular contribution, and that was Morocco’s Maroc Telecom.
This is the second quarter in a row where Etisalat has been buoyed by the same operator. It acquired a 53 per cent in Maroc Telecom in May last year.
In addition, the group’s net profit benefited from lower tax and impairment charges, although this was partially offset by higher depreciation and amortisation expenses, lower share of associates’ results, higher finance costs and foreign exchange losses.
Fourth-quarter revenue climbed 33 percent to AED13 billion, of which AED7 billion was generated domestically.
The company’s total subscriber hit 169 million, representing an impressive growth of 21 million during the last 12 months. Again a nod was due to Maroc Telecom, although UAE and Nigeria also contributed.
Back in November, affiliate Mobily suspended CEO Khalid Omar Al Kaf after errors were found in the company’s accounting, leading it to restate figures for 2013 and the first nine months of 2014. And, earlier this week, Mobily reported a full-year loss for 2014. Etisalat said the impact from its affiliate was “immaterial” to its overall earnings.