Etisalat, a leading telecommunication provider in the UAE, announced yesterday its consolidated financial results for the 12 months ending December 31st 2014, recording an increase in revenue of 26 percent to Dh48.8 billion.
According to the report, Etisalat Group aggregate subscribers as at the fourth quarter of 2014 was at 169 million, reflecting a 14% increase year over year. In the UAE, the active subscriber base grew to 11.0 million subscribers in the fourth quarter of 2014, representing a year on year growth of 6% and quarter over quarter growth of 2%.
Etisalat Group's consolidated revenue for the fourth quarter of 2014 amounted to Dh13.0 billion with growth accelerating by 33% in comparison to the same period last year. Full year consolidated revenue increased by 26% to Dh48.8 billion driven by strong performance of domestic operations and the consolidation of Maroc Telecom operations. In the UAE, revenue in the fourth quarter grew year on year by 11% to Dh7.0 billion and 3% quarter over quarter. For the full year, revenue increased 9% to Dh27.1 billion.
"2014 was an auspicious year for Etisalat, It is one where the company has experienced growth across the business, which has not only seen increased revenues and profits and growth in the number of subscribers, but also seen our footprint grow internationally. I want to thank the leadership of the UAE, who have always unwaveringly supported Etisalat. With the commitment of our world-class employees across 19 operations, the continued support of our investors, and the input and cooperation of our millions of subscribers, 2015 will no doubt continue this pattern of success", said Etisalat Chairman, Eissa al-Suwaidi .
For the full year, EBITDA grew to Dh23.4 billion representing a year-over-year growth of 24% in 2014, while the EBITDA margin declined 1 point to 48%. EBITDA growth was mainly due to consolidation of Maroc Telecom operations and continued strong growth in domestic operations. During the period, Etisalat successfully completed the acquisition of a 53% stake in Maroc Telecom.
Etisalat also signed the Sale Purchase Agreement with Maroc Telecom related to shareholding in the operating companies under Atlantique Telecom in West Africa.
Consolidated net profit after Federal Royalty increased year over year by 47% to Dh2.1 billion in the fourth quarter of 2014 resulting in higher profit margin of 2 points to 16%. Full year net profit increased by 26% to Dh8.9 billion resulting in profit margin of 18%. Earnings per share (EPS) amounted to Dh0.27 in the fourth quarter of 2014 and Dh1.12 for the full year of 2014.
The company has proposed a final dividend pay-out of 70 fils per share for 2014, representing a dividend pay-out ratio of 62% and a dividend yield of 6%. In addition, the Board of Directors has proposed issuance of 10% bonus shares.
Ahmad Julfar, Group Chief Executive Officer, Etisalat, commented, "2014 was a milestone year for Etisalat. It was a year where we have taken the group forward in terms of our objective to be recognised as the leading telecoms operator in emerging markets.
"Our expansion in Africa, which increased our international presence to 19 markets across the MENA region, was accompanied by strong figures in our international operations, the continuance of steady growth for our operations in the UAE, and an accelerated effort to spearhead the development of 5G technology through leading global partnerships.
"The future is full of challenges, but Etisalat is well placed to meet them. With the continued support of the UAE Government, our shareholders, and our customers, I have no doubt that we are up to the task of continuing the impressive track record of success that has been our hallmark."