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Etisalat Announces Year End Results and Celebrates Increases in Revenues, EBITDA, Subscribers, and both Operating and Net Profits

Abu Dhabi, [March 4th 2014]: Etisalat announced today its consolidated financial statements for the 12 months ending December 31st 2013.
Financial Highlights for 2013
• Full-year consolidated revenues grew to AED 38.9 billion; representing an 18% increase from 2012
• Double digit growth in EBITDA to AED 18.9 billion representing a 12% increase year on year
• Net profit after Federal Royalty up by 5% to AED 7.1 billion
• Operating Profit before Federal Royalty increased by 23% year-on-year to AED 14.5 billion
• Aggregate net subscribers grew by nine million to 148 million by December 2013
• Improved financial flexibility with net cash balance of AED 9.6 billion
• Proposed total dividend payout of 70 fils per share for the year 2013.

Key Developments during 2013
• Etisalat and Vivendi signed a share purchase agreement relating to the acquisition of Vivendi’s 53% stake in Maroc Telecom
• Acquired a Universal Mobile Service License in Benin
• Ufone launched Mobile Financial Services “Upaisa”;
• Etisalat launched its mobile commerce platform “Flous” in 9 of its operating markets to reach a total of 11 countries
• Etisalat joined Machine-to-Machine (M2M) World Alliance
• Agreement with China Telecom Europe to use Etisalat’s Smarthub in the region

Chairman’s Statement
Etisalat Chairman H.E. Eissa al-Suwaidi said: “2013 has been a year of tremendous progress for Etisalat. We continued to develop our core services within existing markets while, at the same time, expanding our footprint in new international markets. The results for the year reflect substantial advances in our strategy, demonstrated by subscriber growth, supporting revenue and EBITDA increases of 18% and 12% respectively. Given such strong financial performance, the board decided to recommend total dividend payout of 70 fils per share for the year 2013.

“Etisalat Group is in a strong position to embrace the changes that are enveloping the telecoms industry and have enabled it to continue to add value to customers, shareholders and the communities in which we operate. We will continue to focus on providing a unique experience and superior service in the future. By putting customers at the heart of everything we do, we are enabling our current success and planting the seeds of future growth.

“Etisalat’s growth to become one of the industry’s largest companies brings new opportunities. As we think about what the future holds for Etisalat and our investors, we know that our continued growth will be driven by our ability to innovate and by our aptitude for identifying new investment opportunities. Our progress in these regards during 2013 gives me confidence in our future.

“Finally, I would like to thank the leadership of the UAE for their continued and unwavering support, our employees for their dedication and – most of – all our customers for their loyalty and faith in our services. On the back of such a successful year, we are looking into the future with confidence that we will continue our emergence as one of the best telecoms operators in the world.”
CEO’s Message
Ahmad Abdulkarim Julfar, Group Chief Executive Officer, Etisalat, commented: “Etisalat has achieved considerable progress in 2013. We have maintained positive momentum within our financial results and we have continued to invest in both the scale and service provision of the Group.

“Our singular focus in 2014 and beyond is to Aspire Forward. While profitability and value creation remain our core areas of focus, Etisalat’s strategy is for the long term. The consolidated capital expenditure put in place during 2013 has further reinforced our platform for growth into the future.

“Etisalat is now the enabler of many innovative services, most noticeably in government. A clear example of this is the electronic government which we have seen in the UAE for many years and which was reinforced further by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President & Prime Minister of UAE, Ruler of Dubai in his mobile government vision. We are delighted with the progress being made in the UAE and we are working with many ministries on different turn-key projects. Some of these are based on our experiences in other markets, especially in the fields of Identity, Health, Education and Finance. All this is testament to our visionary government and the healthy growth which has created potential far beyond expectations.

“Etisalat has proved that mobile finance technologies can be secure and life-changing across its footprint in places such as Afghanistan, Tanzania and recently in Sri Lanka, Egypt and Niger. Mobile money technology is now at a very mature level, is extremely secure and offers significant benefits for communities, particularly those with lower incomes.

“In the UAE, we continued to cement our position as the leading operator in the country despite further competitive pressures. We have continued to be the dominant force in mobiles, driven by our competitive pricing, innovative service offerings and the high quality of our network. Continued improvements in customer service have also engendered a spirit of loyalty among our customers.

“We also have strong growth in the data and internet segments, and revenues will continue to grow as we benefit from our investment in infrastructure, including the establishment of the world’s most extensive Fiber-To-The-Home (FTTH) network. By utilising best technological and innovative solutions globally available, we are connecting government, businesses and individuals to the services they demand at exceptionally fast speeds.

“There have also been many other positive developments this year; higher revenues, additional operations and successful initiatives. However, we must always focus on the goal of long-term success through innovation, strong performance and progress.

“Innovation is at the heart of all we do. For this company to continue to grow, we need to innovate and integrate new technologies to exceed our customers increasing demand and expectations. To bring in the next era of super-speed internet connectivity, Etisalat Group and Huawei will work together to trial ultra-fast 40Gbps GPON Technology across Etisalat Group footprint in the coming four years. Etisalat Group and Huawei are also cooperating in the development of 5th generation (5G) mobile broadband.

“We still have a lot of work to do to build our capabilities and launch services in areas such as M2M, e-commerce, video and cloud services. With the support of our Government, shareholders, employees and customers, I am confident that Etisalat will do so and that it will deliver on its strategy of becoming a leading international telecommunications provider.

Subscribers

Etisalat Group aggregate subscriber number grew by 7% on an annual basis to 148 million in 2013 and a 3% quarter over quarter growth by December 2013. The net addition of 9 million subscribers in the year was mainly a factor of good subscriber growth in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Nigeria, Benin and Togo markets.

In the UAE, the active subscriber base grew to 10.4 million subscribers in 2013 representing YoY growth of 16% and QoQ growth of 2%. The eLife segment had a growth rate of 30% for the year to 0.7 million customers.

Revenues
Etisalat Group’s full year consolidated revenue increased YoY by 18% to AED 38.9 billion driven by strong performance of domestic operations and the consolidation of Pakistan operations. Consolidated revenue growth during Q4’13 was AED 9.8 billion representing an increase of 15% in comparison to the same period of last year.

In the UAE, revenue for the full year grew by 9% to AED 24.8 billion as a result of subscriber growth, increase in demand for data services and higher handsets sales. Revenues of AED 6.3 billion in Q4’13 were 7% higher than the previous period.

Full year revenue from international operations increased by 47% YoY to AED 13.8 billion, representing 36% of consolidated revenues.

EBITDA

Group Consolidated EBITDA for 2013 grew to AED 18.9 billion representing a YoY growth of 12%. EBITDA growth was mainly due to increase in revenue and flow through to EBITDA.

In the UAE, EBITDA for 2013 increased YoY by 4% to AED 14.0 billion leading to an EBITDA margin of 57%.

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