The Middle East’s largest telecoms business by market capitalisation generated net profits of AED2.1bn ($578m) in the January to March quarter, up from AED1.8bn for the same period last year.

Etisalat had about 6.6 million mobile phone customers at the end of March, up 23.5 per cent on the 5.4 million customers it had one year ago.

The company’s revenue for the quarter reached AED6.1bn, about 26 per cent up on its AED4.8bn of revenue in the first quarter of 2007.

This is likely to be the last results announcement from Etisalat that fails to break down the performance figures of its Egyptian subsidiary, Etisalat Misr.

In early April, Egypt’s Minister of Communications & IT, Tarek Kamel, revealed that Etisalat Misr would have to publish its financial information every quarter from May onwards (MEED 4:4:08).