Etisalat Group, the UAE’s incumbent telecom operator, posted a 47% jump in fourth-quarter profit. The group’s profits were buoyed by its acquisition of a majority stake in Maroc Telecom, combined with lower taxes and impairment charges. However, the results fell short of analysts' forecasts, according to Reuters.
Etisalat Group posted a net profit of AED 2.14 billion ($582.7 million) in the three months to December 31, compared with a profit of AED 1.45 billion in the same period in 2013.
Three analysts polled by Reuters had forecasted that the operator would make a quarterly profit of AED 2.43 billion.
Etisalat made an annual net profit of AED 8.89 billion dirhams in 2014, up from AED 7.08 billion in Q4 2013.
The telco paid AED 5.33 billion in royalties to the UAE government in 2014, compared to royalties of AED 6.12 dirhams in 2013.
The operator posted full-year revenue of AED 48.77 billion, a rise of 26% compared with 2013.
Fourth-quarter revenue rose 33% to AED 13.04 billion, of which AED 7 billion was generated domestically.
Etisalat's total subscriber rose 14% year-on-year to 169 million, mainly due to its acquisition of Marc Telecom, which contributed about 40 million subscribers, Reuters reported.