The AGM backed the board’s recommendation to increase the non-UAE nationals’ share ownership limit to 49%. WAM
At Etisalat’s Annual General Meeting (AGM), shareholders have backed the board’s recommendation to pay full-year 2020 dividends of 80 fils per share, approved the cancellation of the share buyback programme and instead agreed to a one-time special dividend of 40 fils per share, bringing the total dividend per share for 2020 to Dhs1.20. The AGM backed the board’s recommendation to increase the non-UAE nationals share ownership limit to 49 per cent.
The AGM also elected four board members to fill the seats of Etisalat Group’s Board of Directors that are not reserved for the Government Shareholder. The elected members are: Sheikh Ahmed Mohamed Sultan Al Dhahiri, Abdelmonem Bin Eisa Alserkal, Khalid Abdulwahid Hassan Alrustamani and Otaiba Khalaf Ahmed Al Otaiba. Etisalat Group also announced that the Emirates Investment Authority, as the government shareholder in the company, has appointed its representatives in the Etisalat board as the following: Jassem Mohamed Alzaabi, Chairman, Essa Abdulfattah Kazim Al Mulla, Hesham Abdulla Qassim Al Qassim, Ms. Mariam Saeed Ahmed Ghobash, Saleh Abdulla Ahmed Al Abdooli, Mansoor Ibrahim Ahmed Almansoori and Michel Combes. The new board of directors will begin their duties with the start of the new term of the board scheduled to begin on 21 March 2021.
Obaid Humaid Al Tayer, Chairman, Etisalat Group said: “I am pleased to announce that our shareholders approved the recommendation of the Board of Directors to proceed with a record high full year dividend payout. Another historical milestone was the approval of 49 per cent ownership limit of non-UAE nationals that will help diversify the investor base and add further value to our current shareholders as well as bring liquidity and depth in Etisalat’s financial capabilities.”
He added, “Thanks to the Group’s talented workforce and investment acumen, Etisalat was able to deliver on its vision in the current macro-economic climate. The unprecedented economic headwinds caused by COVID-19 have certainly demanded agility across our operations and we have demonstrated capabilities to quickly adapt to the present market conditions. Etisalat continued its focus on enhancing the core business and exploring new growth opportunities, while being well geared for the future with its digital capabilities and solutions. Etisalat’s dedication to continue to build a robust, agile and transformative business enabled us to meet customer demands for quality services during the lockdown, while generating shareholder value and returns.”
He concluded, “I would like to express my gratitude to the visionary UAE leadership for their continuous support, the loyalty of our customers and the trust of our shareholders. I also want to extend my appreciation to Etisalat’s management team for their contribution to the company’s success and commitment during a challenging year while working towards achieving our vision and strategic goals.”
Engineer Hatem Dowidar CEO, Etisalat Group said: “In 2020 we have delivered robust financial performance with consolidated revenues reaching Dhs51.7 billion while consolidated net profit after federal royalty amounted to Dhs9.0 billion, an increase of 3.8 per cent compared to the previous year. Despite the challenges, a strong execution, an agile and resilient business model led to EBITDA reaching Dhs26.4 billion with a growth rate of 0.3 per cent and a margin of 51.1 per cent.”
He said, “During these challenging times, we advanced our efforts to digitally transform our business both internally within the company and externally to all our customers, this led to increasing our subscriber base by 3.6 per cent reaching a total of 154 million subscribers. This growth is central to our belief that the network and infrastructure has played a key role in empowering millions of customers during the pandemic. In the new normal, telecoms and digital technologies have become the anchor of our lives - be it remote working or virtual classrooms, our networks ensured that the world did not come to a standstill. Innovations in telecom and digital technologies have altered the fabric of life, becoming a necessity and a human right in a digitally connected world.”
He concluded, “2020 has been a defining year for Etisalat with intensive transformation and agile delivery of services, ensuring a strong performance while making Etisalat well positioned for the future. An outstanding outcome considering the stagnant global economy and challenges caused by the pandemic across our footprint. We witnessed a step change in customers’ adoption of digital solutions and affirmed our technological leadership in this rapidly evolving ecosystem, ensuring value creation for our customers and shareholders. Thanks to the sheer determination of our teams, Etisalat delivered on the ambitions and aspirations of its customers, continued to support the communities it serves and added value to the markets in which it operates. I would like to extend my appreciation to the UAE leadership for their enduring support and inspiration by driving us to always aim higher to widen our horizon. Moreover, I am thankful to our loyal customers and shareholders who motivate us to innovate and push boundaries, and to our employees who are the cornerstone of our success.”
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