Du's Deira City Centre office. Du's quarterly results came amid “several challenges" in the market. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News Archive

Dubai: Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (du), the UAE-based telecom provider, reported on Wednesday a 13.5 per cent decline in its net profit for the third quarter of 2019 as revenues slid.

The company’s profits reached Dh381 million, down from the Dh441 million recorded in the third quarter of 2018. This brought profits in the first nine months of this year to Dh1.29 billion, down 7.9 per cent year-on-year.

The drop came as revenues for the past quarter fell by 7.9 per cent to Dh3 billion, and fell by 6.2 per cent for the first nine months to Dh9.4 billion.

This was amid a decline in the number of mobile subscribers by 10.6 per cent, as the number of fixed line subscribers only rose by 1.5 per cent. The decline in customer numbers was reflected in a 9.8 per cent decrease in mobile revenues, while the inch up in fixed line subscribers of 1.5 per cent resulted in a 7.7 per cent jump in fixed revenues.

Osman Sultan, du’s chief executive officer, said the results came amid “several challenges in our market where certain [areas] of our business lines which reached maturity are subject to pressure.”

He said that part of the decline in mobile revenues was absorbed by the rise in fixed business revenues.

“Our fixed business continues to register regular growth of the subscriber base, which reached 771,000, an increase of 1.5 per cent,” he said in a statement. “We continue to focus our efforts on attracting high-value post-paid mobile customers to improve the mix of our mobile subscriber base …”

Sultan said the company is working on transformation “to cope with a changing business paradigm.” He referred to “efficiency efforts all over the organisation” to absorb the pressure on revenues. The earnings statement released to journalists before the full financial statement was out did not show how expenses changed.