UAE telco Etisalat Q2 net profit jumps 26 pct on Moroccan buy

DUBAI, July 20 Sun Jul 20, 2014 11:33am EDT

DUBAI, July 20 (Reuters) - Etisalat reported a 26 percent jump in second-quarter profit on Sunday, beating analysts' estimates, as the UAE firm's acquisition of a majority stake in Maroc Telecom bolstered its bottom line.

The former telecom monopoly, which operates in 19 countries across the Middle East, Africa and Asia, made a net profit of 2.5 billion dirhams ($680.7 million) in the three months to June 30, up from 1.98 billion dirhams in the year-ago period, according to Reuters calculations.

Etisalat, which beat the 2.19 billion dirham average forecast of analysts polled by Reuters, did not provide a quarterly net profit breakdown in its results statement.

In May, Etisalat bought a 53 percent stake in Maroc Telecom for 4.14 billion euros.

($1 = 3.6725 United Arab Emirates Dirhams) (Reporting by David French; Editing by Erica Billingham)