October 25, 2017 / 11:49 AM / 10 months ago

Etisalat posts $653 mln third-quarter profit as costs decline

DUBAI (Reuters) - Etisalat ETEL.AD, the United Arab Emirates-based telecom group, reported a 29 percent increase in third-quarter net profit as capital expenditure and staff costs declined.

Etisalat made a 2.4 billion dirham ($653.4 million) net profit compared with 1.87 billion a year earlier, a bourse statement said on Wednesday.

In an earlier statement the company attributed the profit increase to lower depreciation and amortization charges, high net finance income, lower losses from discontinued operations and foreign currency gains.

However, it also said revenue, which fell 2.6 percent to 12.8 billion dirhams, was affected by unfavorable currency exchange rates, mainly in Egypt.

Etisalat, which operates across the Middle East, Africa and Asia, said it reduced capital expenditure by 12 percent to 1.6 billion dirhams, and also said staff costs were down 7 percent to 1.2 billion.

Royalties, or tax, paid to the UAE government increased 1 percent to 1.68 billion dirhams and its direct cost of sales grew by 6 percent to 3 billion.

($1 = 3.6729 UAE dirham)

Reporting by Alexander Cornwell; Editing by Adrian Croft and David Holmes

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