Du's third-quarter net profit rises 60% on subscriber growth

Company’s mobile customer base jumped 9.4 per cent annually to 8.1 million subscribers

Du's revenue rose about 3.7 per cent annually to almost Dh3.3 billion in the September quarter. Philip Cheung / The National
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Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company, the Dubai telecoms operator known as du, reported a 60 per cent increase in its third-quarter net profit, driven by a surge in customers and rising revenue.

Net profit attributable to shareholders for the three months to the end of September was Dh502.37 million ($136.7 million), the company said on Monday in a filing to the Dubai Financial Market, where its shares are traded.

Revenue rose about 3.7 per cent annually to Dh3.29 billion, driven by a 5.7 per cent growth in mobile service revenue to more than Dh1.5 billion. Fixed services revenue stood at Dh939 million, up 5.3 per cent.

The company’s mobile customer base jumped 9.4 per cent annually to 8.1 million subscribers. Its prepaid customer base grew 9.2 per cent year-on-year to 6.5 million, while postpaid subscribers reached 1.6 million.

By end of the quarter, it added 85,700 mobile customers, 32,200 postpaid and 53,500 prepaid, and 13,800 fixed customers.

Du's nine-month profit, meanwhile, surged 37.5 per cent to nearly Dh1.26 billion as revenue rose nearly 7 per cent to Dh10 billion.

The strong performance “reflects the disciplined execution of our strategy, our commercial dynamism and the continuous innovation that we have been bringing to the market”, chief executive Fahad Al Hassawi said.

“We continue to invest in our IT infrastructure and 5G roll-out to enhance our customer experience and to create and unlock shareholder value while conducting our transformation journey towards a leading digital telco.”

In the third quarter, du's earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) increased nearly 14 per cent on a yearly basis to Dh1.48 billion.

Ebitda growth was driven by “higher service revenues and an improved gross margin resulting in particular from a better revenue mix”, du said.

The company directed the majority of its capital expenditure, which stood at Dh527 million in the July-September period, towards 5G deployment “to enhance indoor coverage, our ongoing IT transformation and the expansion of our fibre network”.

The company's operating free cash flow increased by 65 per cent to Dh956 million.

The telecoms industry is going through a major transformation with the advent of new technologies that operators are trying to integrate into operations to expand their consumer bases and add new revenue lines amid intensifying competition.

At Dubai's Gitex Global exhibition, Mr Al Hassawi told The National that du is working with major technology companies to help push generative artificial intelligence into mainstream consumer services.

Updated: October 30, 2023, 5:08 PM