Abu Dhabi: e& (formerly known as Etisalat Group) held its Annual General Meeting (AGM) where shareholders approved the recommendation from the Board of Directors to distribute cash dividends to shareholders for the second half of 2021 at a value of AED 0.4 per share, representing a total annual dividend of AED 0.8 per share.
During the meeting, the Board praised e&’s efforts in accelerating its digital transformation in an ever-changing business landscape. In light of its recent transformation into a global technology conglomerate, e& was commended for seizing different opportunities to create a more progressive business model that realises the Group’s vision of impacting the lives of its customers and shareholders alike.
H.E. Jassem Mohamed Bu Ataba Alzaabi, Chairman of e&, thanked the board members for their support. He emphasised that e& will continue to be the digital champion that drives change for the empowerment of societies.
“As we enter the next chapter of our journey, we are confident that we will continue to witness even greater success as we continue to create an environment with limitless possibilities built on solid foundations, smart connectivity and fruitful collaborative opportunities.”
Adopting a growth mindset to stay fit for the future
H.E. Jassem Mohamed Bu Ataba Alzaabi highlighted a series of achievements that has enabled e& to begin a new chapter, in line with its ambitious strategy to amplify business growth across different segments. The Group was named the strongest telecoms brand in the world in January 2022, and also topped the Forbes MENA Top 10 most valuable listed companies in the UAE. It reported a solid net profit of AED 9.3 billion, an increase of 3.2% year on year. It also saw a 3.0% increase in its aggregated subscriber base, rising to 159 million. e& has also maintained the UAE’s network leadership with one of the fastest and most advanced networks in the world for the second year, and global FTTH penetration leadership.
H.E. Jassem Mohamed Bu Ataba Alzaabi stated that value creation remains at the core of the work e& does as it continues to lead the change for growth. “We’ve already witnessed a defining moment in our history through our transformation as e&, thanks to the strong financials and standing in the market. Our growth mindset will continue to guide us forward as we refocus our efforts on investing in breakthrough technologies, accelerating in-depth market penetrations and capitalising on solid ventures with key industry players.
“We have worked tirelessly to come this far, thanks to the support of the UAE leadership to the telecom sector, and we will do what it takes to ensure that our solutions positively impact people’s lives at every touchpoint. This is in line with our vision for e& to ‘Make Possible’. Enhancing customer experiences and digitally empowering societies will continue to be the driving forces in everything we will achieve in the future.”
Acquisitions, strategic partnerships and customer-centricity part of the journey forward
During the meeting, Hatem Dowidar, GCEO of e& shared that the Group’s strong financial performance resulted from successful international operations and steady improvements in domestic operations despite persistent challenges in the markets where it operates. He said: “This has been an exceptional year for us as we delivered solid financial performance and business growth across all our operations in 2021. The Group’s consolidated revenues increased by 3.2% to AED 53.3 billion and consolidated net profit amounted to AED 9.3 billion, representing a 3.2% increase year-on-year. Our consolidated EBITDA amounted to AED 26.7 billion, representing a year-on-year increase of 1.0% which resulted in an EBITDA margin of 50.1%.
Dowidar spoke at length about the efforts undertaken by the Group on acquisitions and in pursuit of strategic partnerships for future business growth. Its acquisition strategy is driven by the Group’s relentless commitment to provide innovative solutions for the benefit of all customer segments and offer long-term sustainable value for our shareholders, he said.
“We’ve come this far because we have capitalised our efforts in providing outstanding customer services at all times even with the rapid changes the business landscape is seeing. We’ve already invested in future technologies to continue enhancing our customers’ experience.”
As part of its strategy, e& will enhance customers’ experiences across all segments by ideating, designing, and delivering a range of innovative and breakthrough technologies, driven by its track record of success. This strategy is aimed at accelerating growth through the creation of a resilient business model that is representing the Group’s main business pillars.
Telecoms will continue to retain the previous branding identity while upholding the Group’s rich telecoms heritage, bolstering the Group’s strong telecoms infrastructure and maximising value for its customer segments, in the UAE and internationally. In addition, it will expand into new geographic markets while continuing to drive operational performance in the 16 markets where it operates.
e& life is focused on enhancing customer delight by becoming an integral part of the lives of its customers. The business pillar has already made robust plans to deliver next-generation technologies and digital experiences that will bring the world to the customers’ fingertips through smart connectivity platforms in entertainment, retail and financial services.
e& enterprise will be the driving force behind the digital transformation of governments, corporates and enterprises. Through its breakthrough technology solutions in cybersecurity, cloud, Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI), as well as deploying mega projects, e& enterprise will create real business value as it continues to leverage its expertise as a digital managed company having the strength and reach of a global trusted partner.
Maximising shareholder value while strengthening global presence is key to the e& strategy to empower societies. e& capital will act as a pillar for growth for the Group as it drives new acquisitions and mergers in line with its vision for investing in ideas that make the future.