Reuters – Etisalat, the United Arab Emirates’ biggest telecoms operator by revenue and subscribers, fell short of analysts’ expectations with a 70% rise in fourth-quarter net profit.
The former monopoly, which operates in about 15 countries across the Middle East, Africa and Asia, made net profit of AED 1.45bn ($394.77m) in the three months to 31 December, according to Reuters calculations.
Analysts polled by Reuters gave a consensus forecast of fourth-quarter profit of AED 2.17bn.
Etisalat’s 2013 full-year net profit rose to AED 7.08bn from AED 6.74bn a year earlier.
The result was hit by impairments charges of AED 1.37bn. About half of the total related to loans to “related parties”, the company said, without providing more details.
The company proposed a cash dividend of AED 0.35 per share for the second half of 2014.