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Etisalat Q2 surges 58pc to $817m

Dubai, July 14, 2008

Emirates Telecommunications Corporation (Etisalat) posted net profit of Dh3 billion ($817 million) in the second quarter, up 58.2 per cent from the year-earlier period.

Analysts' forecasts for Etisalat's second quarter profit ranged from Dh2.03 billion to Dh3.09 billion in a Reuters survey last month.

Etisalat, the largest Arab telecom firm by market value, made Dh1.89 billion in the second-quarter of 2007 and Dh2.12 billion in the first quarter of this year.

Mohammad Hassan Omran, chairman of Etisalat, said the company's results in the first half of the year and in the second quarter in particular, have been excellent.

"Our subscriber numbers continue to grow strongly and in the UAE alone, mobile phone customers have reached 6.83 million customers an increase of 7 per cent compared to the end of 2007."

"We are also pleased to see that the number of total fixed line customers with Etisalat is now 1.35 million and that the number of internet customers has now reached 1.02 million."

Omran added: “Etisalat has achieved several major landmarks during 2008. Earlier we attained the rank of the largest telecommunications company in the Middle East and one of the 14 largest in the world – a clear sign that our strategy to become one of the largest ten operators is on track.”

The company, meanwhile, said it would give subscribers special roaming rates in Egypt and Saudi Arabia in a move that could drive revenues of the largest publicly-traded Arab telecom firm.

The new service will be available to Etisalat's UAE customers using the networks of Egyptian unit Etisalat Egypt and Saudi affiliate Etihad Etisalat 7020.SE (Mobily), Etisalat said in a statement.

Etisalat chief executive Mohammed Al-Qamzi has said the firm wanted to boost revenues by offering special cross rates to subscribers in different countries.

Many Egyptian expatriates, for instance, work in the booming Gulf Arab states, including Saudi Arabia, the largest Arab economy.

Like other telecom firms in the world's biggest oil-exporting region, Etisalat has been expanding outside of its home market, buoyed by an economic boom fuelled by a more than seven-fold rise in oil prices since 2002.-Reuters




Tags: Egypt | Etisalat | Saudi | profit | roaming rates |

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