Emirati telecoms giant sees sharp profits rise

The company has 140 million subscribers

ABU DHABI - UAE telecoms giant Etisalat said Wednesday its third quarter net profit was up by nearly a third on last year, despite being hit by exchange rate fluctuations.
The second largest mobile operator in the region, after Saudi telecom, it posted a $658 million net profit in July to September, up 29 percent on the same period last year.
It said the rise came despite unfavourable exchange rates in some countries where it operates.
The company's revenues dropped 2.6 percent to $3.54 billion, it said in a statement posted on the Abu Dhabi bourse.
"Etisalat continues to deliver solid performance in the third quarter despite the prevailing global economic challenges and the vastly transforming industry," CEO Saleh al-Abdooli said.
Besides its home base in the United Arab Emirates, Etisalat operates in 16 countries including Saudi Arabia, nine African states and Afghanistan.
The company has 140 million subscribers.
The UAE government, which owns a 60 percent stake in the company, decided in June last year to allow foreigners to buy shares in Etisalat for the first time.