UAE’s Etisalat Q4 profit surges but misses forecasts

Etisalat made an annual net profit of 8.89 billion dirhams in 2014

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Abu Dhabi-listed Etisalat posted a 47 percent jump in fourth-quarter profit on Thursday as its purchase of a majority stake in Maroc Telecom and lower taxes and impairment charges boosted its bottom line, although it missed analysts’ forecasts.

The United Arab Emirates telecommunications company, which operates in 19 countries across the Middle East, Africa and Asia, posted a net profit of 2.14 billion dirhams ($582.7 million) in the three months to Dec. 31.


This compares with a profit of 1.45 billion dirhams in the year-earlier period.

Three analysts polled by Reuters on average forecast Etisalat, the Gulf’s second biggest telecommunications operator by market value, would make a quarterly profit of 2.43 billion dirhams.

Etisalat made an annual net profit of 8.89 billion dirhams in 2014, up from 7.08 billion dirhams a year earlier.

It paid 5.33 billion dirhams in royalties - or tax - to the UAE federal government last year. That compares with royalties of 6.12 dirhams in 2013.

The company attributed its increased profit to higher earnings before tax, interest depreciation and amortization (EBITDA), plus lower taxes and impairment charges.

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