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MENAFN - Emirates News Agency (WAM) - 20/02/2013

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(MENAFN - Emirates News Agency (WAM)) Etisalat Group today announced its consolidated financial results for the year ending 31st December 2012 showing two percent year-on-year growth.

Results declared to the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange indicated Etisalat Group's net revenue for the year was AED 32.9 billion, up 2% year on year and its net profit increased to AED 13.2 billion before Federal Royalty, up 27% year on year. Upon ratifying the results, Etisalat Group's board approved a full year dividend of 70 fils (AED 0.70) subject to shareholder approval.

Eissa Al Suwaidi, Chairman at Etisalat Group, said: "Strong results in 2012 have demonstrated Etisalat's positive performance in 2012 and enabled Etisalat Group to distribute a total dividend of 70 fils per share (25 fils already paid and 45 to be paid), and in doing so reward our shareholders for their loyalty with added-value on their investments.

"Throughout the year, we continued to invest in emerging markets in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, where we now reach over 139 million customers in 15 countries.

"Our commitment to development through information and communications technology not only positively impacts regional economies through job creation and boosting the gross domestic products in the countries where we operate, but it also positions us to reap the benefits of investing in these rapidly growing economies in the future. In 2012, Etisalat Group benefited from strength and consistency in the UAE market, where it consolidated its position as the largest provider of telecommunications services to the local market.

"Our achievements in 2012 would not have been achieved without the support of H.H. the President, H.H. the Prime Minister, H.H. the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and the UAE government's continued support for Etisalat. I'd also like to acknowledge the support of the governments and regulators in all of our operating countries and thank our customers for their loyalty throughout the year.

"Overall, 2012 has been a very positive year for Etisalat Group." Commenting on the results, Ahmad Abdul Karim Julfar, Group CEO, Etisalat Group said: "The 2012 results reflected strong performance across the Group operating companies and marking significant steps towards Etisalat Group's vision of becoming one of the leading telecommunications companies across emerging markets.

"Etisalat Group enjoyed a strong increase on net revenue from its international operations in 2012, reflecting the added-value investments Etisalat Group has put in to its operating markets to increase customer retention and acquisition and reinforce its commitment to delivering new technologies and services that help enable communities to transform for the better.

"Those investments in new technologies and services included building and investing in the networks of the future, including FTTH and LTE in countries like the UAE and KSA, being the first provider of 3G services in Afghanistan and through the delivery of innovative solutions through applied technology such as mHealth and mCommerce, M2M and cloud networking. We will continue to study means to enhance our services to existing customers that help to shape the way we live and work and accelerate social development and economic growth.

"The investment in Next Generation Networks and in introducing value-added services also had a positive impact on subscribers attracting an increase to our global subscriber base to 139 million subscribers. The consolidated growth was driven mainly by increases in subscribers across all markets of operation.

"Our focus moving forward will be on continuing to developing the level of service and meeting the expectations and demands of our customers in key markets. We are committed to building the right partnerships with key players to deliver applied services that will improve our customers' lives for the better. Our ongoing investment in innovations in communities across our footprint and the significant increasing demand for broadband and digital services means that Etisalat Group is well positioned to continue to deliver added value to its subscribers, the communities it serves and the Group's shareholders, and will continue to set the tone for 2013 and beyond.

"Part of our commitment to our shareholders is that through our continued success we aim to maintain similar dividend distribution over coming years of operation."


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