Abu Dhabi, Asharq Al-Awsat- Emirates Telecommunications Corporation- Etisalat- has announced its financial results for the first quarter of 2006. Net profits increased to AED 1.337 billion, a rise of 31 per cent over the same period last year, and operating profits increased to AED 1.216 billion.
Mohammed Al Qamzi, CEO of Etisalat, said: “The performance of the Corporation in the first quarter of 2006 brings us even closer to our ambition of being among the top 10 telecom operators in the world. The increase in uptake of our services has motivated us to not only maintain the excellent standards that our customers expect, but to also improve on our range of services.”
Al Qamzi stated that mobile services witnessed a 23 per cent growth in the first quarter of 2006, compared to the same period last year. Mobile subscribers now number 4.76 million, a penetration rate of over 100 per cent.
“Internet subscribers, including broad band connections, reached 570,000, a record growth of 31 per cent over 2005. Fixed lines subscribers number 1.25 million, up by 4 per cent compared to the same period last year”, Al Qamzi added.
Etisalat has recently taken over management of Pakistan Telecommunications Company Limited (PTCL), and is also preparing to bid for the third GSM license in Egypt.
Etisalat has signed an agreement with the Government of Afghanistan to provide mobile phone services, and is currently in talks to provide fixed line services too. The Corporation is also holding talks with as yet unnamed Indian telecom operators to purchase stake.