DUBAI, April 27 Etisalat, the Gulf's No.2 telecom operator by market value, reported an 11 percent rise in first-quarter profit on Sunday.
The former monopoly, which operates in about 15 countries across the Middle East, Africa and Asia, made a net profit of 2 billion dirhams ($544.5 million) in the three months to March 31, according to a company statement.
This compares with a profit of 1.8 billion dirhams a year earlier.
Two analysts polled by Reuters forecast Etisalat would make a quarterly profit of 1.83 billion dirhams and 1.84 billion dirhams respectively. ($1 = 3.6730 UAE Dirhams) (Reporting by Matt Smith; Editing by David French)