Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company PJSC publishes its 2021 annual results

Board recommends final dividend of AED 0.11 per share

Dubai, United Arab Emirates – Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company PJSC (“EITC”) announced its financial results for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021. Full-year revenue increased 5.4% to AED11.7 billion on sustained demand for services broadband and 5G handsets as well as a gradual resumption of mobile services. Fourth quarter sales recorded remarkable growth (+12%) thanks to several commercial initiatives supported by improving market conditions. Full-year EBITDA increased by 1.9% to AED4.6 billion, reflecting revenue growth and cost reduction initiatives. Note the exceptional performance in Q4, when EBITDA increased by 20.5%. Net profit for the year reached AED 1.1 billion. In 2021, the EITC invested a record amount of AED 2.6 billion, as evidenced by the rapid rollout of the 5G network. Despite the scale of the investments, the operating free cash flow (EBITDA – Capex) for the year remains solid at AED 2 billion.

Based on these results, the Board recommends a dividend, for the year 2021, of 21 fils per share, of which 10 fils per share have already been paid as an interim dividend on August 24, 2021.

2021 operational highlights

  • Our mobile customer base grew 8.9% year over year. We ended the year with 7.3 million subscribers on record net additions in the fourth quarter. This growth reflects growth in the number of postpaid customers as well as a significant increase in the number of prepaid customers during the fourth quarter. Our postpaid customer base grew to 1.3 million, reflecting our continued focus on the consumer and business segments. Our prepaid customer base grew to 5.9 million subscribers thanks to the lifting of mobility restrictions (domestic and international) and increased tourism activity driven byExpo 2020.
  • Our The fixed customer base increased by 66% year-on-year. We ended the year with 390,000 subscribers on another fourth quarter net additions record.Our customer base has continued to grow throughout each quarter. This strong performance is due to our commercial initiatives in various product categories and the disciplined execution of our broadband strategy.

Financial Highlights

  • Q4 2021 revenue increased 12% year-on-year to reach AED3,070 million. Full-year revenue increased by 5.4% to reach AED11,682 million:
    • In the fourth trimester, mobile service revenues recovered significantly to AED1,390 million (+5.6%). Mobile services generated full-year revenue of AED5,301 million.
    • Fixed benefits continued to show strong and consistent performance thanks to sustained demand from the consumer and business segments: fourth quarter revenue reached an all-time high of AED 763 million, representing growth of 18.3% from a year-on-year, while full-year fixed service revenue grew by 10.7% to reach AED2,844 million.
    • Q4″Other incomeincreased by 17.7% to reach AED917 million on the back of a recovery in wholesale revenue, sustained growth in ICT services and handset sales as well as an increase in roaming revenue. “Other income” for the full year increased by 15.5% year-on-year to reach AED3,537 million.
  • Fourth quarter EBITDA increased 20.5% year-on-year to AED1,242 million on higher revenues and non-recurring revenue. Services revenues (Q4 2021 +9.8%) which have higher margins, contributed to the increase in EBITDA. During the quarter, we recognized a non-recurring income of AED 130 million related to the settlement of a dispute and provisioned AED 34 million of exceptional charges. EBITDA for the full year increased by 1.9% to AED4,592 million driven by a reduction of AED71 million in bad debts on improved collection as well as a one-time benefit from the settlement of a dispute.
  • Fourth quarter net profit increased to AED321 million. This is mainly due to higher EBITDA. Net profit for the full year was AED 1,101 million.
  • Q4 investments amounted to AED 1,013 million while Capex for the full year was AED 2,602 million. It was an exceptional year of investment with a capital intensity of 22.3% as we continued to expand our 5G network (which now covers 90.7% of the population) and transform our IT infrastructure and existing network.
  • Operating Free Cash Flow (EBITDA – Capex) decreased to AED230 million in Q4 2021 solely due to higher investments. Operating free cash flow for the full year remained strong at AED 1,990 million despite an increase in capital expenditure of AED 731 million.

Malek Sultan Al Malek, President commented

“While 2020 was challenging and tumultuous, 2021 was a year of recovery and transformation. In 2021, we returned to growth through consistent and disciplined execution of our strategy supported by gradually improving market momentum During the year, we continued our ambitious investment program to accelerate the transformation and deployment of our infrastructure to a next-generation network for the benefit of our customers.We also refined our operating model and governance to evolve with our market, our industry and the needs of our customers. In 2021, we generated a net profit of AED 1.1 billionand an operating free cash flow of almost AED 2 billion. Despite significant investments, our business remains very cash-generating and our balance sheet strong with AED 5.6 billion of available cash.

I am pleased to announce that, based on our financial results, the Board recommends a dividend, for the year 2021, of 21 fils per share, of which 10 fils per share have already been paid in August 2021 as interim dividend. This corresponds to a distribution of 96% of net profit after allocation to legal reserves.

Fahad Al Hassaoui, CEO, said:

“While 2021 presented its set of challenges, the EITC emerged stronger and with an even greater sense of purpose.We have built a tremendous commercial momentum by focusing on our customers. We anticipate their needs and offer them innovative products and services. This has resulted in an increase in our mobile postpaid and broadband customer base over the past quarter.

I am proud that we have achieved service revenue growth. Fixed service revenue trends in the consumer and business segments remain strong. I am particularly pleased to report that mobile service revenues returned to growth in the fourth quarter after 12 consecutive quarters of decline. This confirms our strategic roadmap and we have no intention of slowing down.

We also continued to manage our P&L and our Cash Flow very dynamically. The launch of several savings initiatives coupled with the return to growth enabled us to increase our EBITDA.

We continued with our ambitious deployment plans. We spent a record AED2.6 billion on investments in 2021. This reflects our confidence in the future, our focus on meeting future customer demand and our ambition to be at the forefront of technological evolution. We have expanded our fiber footprint in terms of backhaul and connected premises. Our IT infrastructure continues to transform.

We have the financial flexibility to continue our exciting growth journey. My team and I are excited about our financial and business outlook for 2022.”

About the integrated telecommunications company Emirates PJSC

The Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company PJSC (EITC) was founded in 2005. We are the second licensed telecommunications operator in the UAE. We operate under two brands: du (launched in 2007) and Virgin Mobile, the region’s first digital service (launched in September 2017).

We are listed on the Dubai Financial Market (DFM) and trade under the symbol DU (Bloomberg DU UH, Refinitiv Eikon DU.DU). Our main shareholders are government related entities (Emirates Investment Authority 50.12%, Emirates International Telecommunications Company LLC 19.7%, Mamoura Diversified Global Holding PJSC 10.06%).

© Press Release 2022

Sean B. Jackson