Egypt's Etisalat saw 40 pct rise in 2011 subscribers: Statement

Reuters, Wednesday 22 Feb 2012

Egyptian subscribers may be on the up but the UAE-based firm is restructuring its operations in a bid to cut costs

Egyptian mobile operator Etisalat Misr saw a 40 per cent rise in its subscriber numbers in 2011, its UAE-based parent company said in a statement this week.

But an overall fall in profits is prompting its UAE-based parent company to restructure its operations in a bid to cut costs.
 
On Tuesday, it was reported that Etisalat is seeking a syndicated loan of up to $2 billion for general corporate purposes.
 
The deal is expected to carry a three-year tenor, but this is subject to change, bankers close to the deal said.
 
The board of the former monopoly, which operates in 17 countries in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, also proposed a 60 per cent dividend for 2011, the same as 2010.
 
The company said its board had discussed restructuring and outsourcing options.
 
"Competition and (a) drop in prices across the region has made it difficult for telecom service providers to maintain revenue levels, especially in emerging markets," it said.
 
On 9 February, Etisalat reported annual net profit fell 24 per cent to 5.8 billion UAE dirhams ($1.6 billion), due in part to impairments it took relating to Indian affiliate Etisalat DB, which is poised to lose its licence.
 
Etisalat has reported falling profits in seven of the past eight quarters as earnings from its foreign units fail to make up for sagging home revenue.
 
About three-quarters of Etisalat's revenue is derived domestically, according to its third-quarter results, the most recent revenue breakdown the company has disclosed.
 
Etisalat had a net cash balance of 3.3 billion dirhams at the end of 2011.
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