Etisalat’s net up 19 percent in third quarter

October 18th, 2008 - 6:54 pm ICT by IANS  

Dubai, Oct 18 (IANS) The United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) leading telecom services provider Etisalat, which announced its entry into the booming Indian market last month, Saturday announced that it posted net profits of 7.3 billion dirhams ($1.9 billion) in the first nine months of this year.Announcing its quarterly results, the company stated that it posted net profits of 2.1 billion dirhams ($571.8 million) in the third quarter of 2008, an increase of 19 percent from the same period last year.

“The growth rates Etisalat has achieved in both financial and operational terms reflect the high levels of efficiency and performance at all levels of its management,” chairman Mohammad Hassan Omran said in a statement.

“Our acquisition in India has opened yet another key market, which will help power Etisalat’s growth,” he added.

Etisalat had last month acquired 45 percent of newly licensed Indian operator Swan Telecom for accessing the Indian market.

Swan holds universal access service licences (UASLs) in 13 telecom circles in India, and is in the process of acquiring UASLs for two more circles.

Together, these licences will enable the company to provide a full spectrum of telecom services, including GSM services, covering a population of over 900 million across India.

This takes Etisalat’s geographical reach to 18 countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East, covering a population of approximately 1.6 billion.

Swan Telecom’s remaining 55 percent of the shares are held by several entities, including the company’s main promoter, which is controlled by the Dynamix Balwas (DB Group), a Mumbai-based real estate and hospitality business group.

The Abu Dhabi-headquartered Etisalat said it recorded net revenues of 6.6 billion dirhams ($1.8 billion) for the third quarter of 2008 and 19.1 billion dirhams ($5.2 billion) in total for the first nine months of the year.

This shows an increase of 24 percent from the same period last year.

Total assets recorded stood at 32.5 billion dirhams ($8.8 billion), an increase of 26 percent compared to the third quarter of 2007.

The company has also received ratings from international agencies.

“We are also delighted to have received our first ratings from Moody’s, Standard and Poor’s and Fitch - which place us in a very strong position to continue our international expansion,” Omran said.

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