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Vodafone dividend helps push e& to record profit

Abu Dhabi-listed e& owned 20% of the UK’s Vodafone as of August 2023 Reuters
Abu Dhabi-listed e& owned 20% of the UK’s Vodafone as of August 2023

Telecommunications company e&, formerly known as Etisalat, reported record net profit in 2023.

The Abu Dhabi-listed company said profit was driven by higher dividends from Vodafone Group, higher income from associates and lower tax expenses.

Net profit for the full year reached AED10.3 billion ($2.80 billion), up three percent year on year, as revenue rose three percent year on year to AED54 billion.

The UAE telco owned 20 percent of the UK’s Vodafone as of August 2023. Although the dividend income from Vodafone was not given, total dividend received was AED1.5 billion last year, compared to AED335 million in 2022.

Fourth quarter 2023 net profit fell two percent year on year to AED2.6 billion due to higher depreciation and amortisation expenses and higher federal royalty charges.

However, revenue rose five percent annually to AED13.7 billion.

Aggregate subscriber base reached almost 170 million, a four percent year on year increase in the last quarter ended December 31, 2023.

Total net additions were 6.8 million last year, driven by robust subscriber acquisition in Egypt, Pakistan, the UAE, Morocco and Moov Africa. Quarter on quarter, the subscriber base rose by two million subscribers.

However, capital expenditure fell 17 percent year on year to AED2.5 billion in the fourth quarter. Capex slipped nine percent annually to AED7.3 billion for 2023.

e&’s board of directors announced 40 fils per share dividend for the second half of 2023, bringing the total dividend to 80 fils per share for 2023.

In addition, the board recommended a new progressive dividend policy with an incremental of three fils every year for 2024, 2025, and 2026, subject to shareholders’ approval.

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