Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company, the Dubai telecom operator better known as du, reported an increase of about 11 per cent in its 2022 net profit on strong demand for 5G and broadband services.
Net profit in the 12 months ended December rose to Dh1.22 billion ($332.2 million), from Dh1.1 billion in 2021, the company said on Tuesday in a regulatory filing to the Dubai Financial Market, where its shares are traded.
Revenue in the year grew by about 9 per cent annually to Dh12.75 billion, from Dh11.68 billion a year earlier, “on sustained demand for broadband services and 5G handsets, as well as a gradual recovery of mobile services”, the company said.
Mobile services revenue for 2022 rose more than 8 per cent annually to Dh5.75 billion while fixed services revenue surged more than 22 per cent to Dh3.48 billion. Other revenue was "stable" at Dh3.5 billion.
Full-year earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation rose 12 per cent to Dh5.14 billion on higher service revenue, the expansion of gross margins and cost-optimisation initiatives.
“Our business performed exceptionally well, thanks to a robust economic environment fuelled by population growth, an increase in tourism activity and GDP [gross domestic product] growth, as well as our strong commercial momentum,” said chairman Malek Al Malek.
“The delivery on our ambitious investment plans also allowed us to accelerate our growth and improve our positioning.”
The telecoms industry is going through a major transformation with the advent of new technology that operators are trying to integrate into operations to expand their consumer base and add new revenue lines amid intensifying competition.
At Dubai's Gitex Global exhibition in October, du chief executive Fahad Al Hassawi said the company was pressing forward with more investments in its infrastructure and data centres, in line with the UAE's economic growth.
Chief technology officer Saleem AlBlooshi told The National earlier this month that the company was also working on a "strong programme" to tap into the potential of the metaverse as it seeks to enhance its network capabilities.
Mr Al Hassawi said on Tuesday that du had “accelerated the recovery that we initiated the previous year. We increased our commercial dynamism and focused on innovation to capture value".
For 2022, du's mobile customer base increased by 9 per cent annually, ending the year with about 7.9 million subscribers as the company welcomed about 494,000 new users in the fourth quarter alone.
Du's postpaid customer numbers increased by nearly 11 per cent to 1.5 million in 2022, with the addition of about 53,000 in the fourth quarter.
Its prepaid customer base rose to 6.4 million as about 441,000 users joined the operator in the last three months of the year, driven by population growth and higher tourism activity in the UAE.
Meanwhile, its fixed customer base rose more than 37 per cent annually to about 537,000 users, with roughly 146,000 additions in 2022.
"We have proved that we can innovate to push growth in our business. We will continue to invest in our infrastructure and in our people to accelerate innovation and continue our transformation programme," Mr Al Hassawi said.