Operator group e& CEO Hatem Dowidar (pictured) highlighted increased subscriber numbers and solid financial results in local currencies in Q1, as volatile foreign exchange rates in several markets took a toll on its bottom line.

Net profit dropped 10 per cent year-on-year to AED2.2 billion ($600 million) on revenue down 2 per cent at AED13.0 billion.

The drop in profit was also attributed to borrowing costs related to a growing investment in Vodafone Group, which was up to 14.6 per cent at end-April.

Currency fluctuations were reported as being especially strong in Egypt and Pakistan, with the rates in Morocco also well down.

In its earnings report, e& noted most of its markets outside of the UAE were suffering challenging economic environments, with Egypt and Pakistan experiencing an “unprecedented level of inflation” of almost 33 per cent and 35 per cent, respectively at end-March.

This, it added, constrained customer spending.

However, e& noted its domestic performance had partly offset issues elsewhere.

Dowidar highlighted growth in subscribers, revenue and profit in local currencies from across its operations.

Increases were partly attributed to the company’s “flexibility” and “building unique digital experiences supported by strategic investments”.

Pointing to an investment in Careem’s Super App, Dowidar reiterated an aim to be a global technology group delivering digital services.

“We will continue to explore future technologies and develop new verticals that will accelerate digital transformation, positively impacting businesses and people’s lives while maximising value creation for our shareholders,” Dowidar added.