du data carry over
March was the month when du faced the impact of the COVID-19 on its numbers. Image Credit: Gulf News Archive

Dubai: The telecom operator du pulled in revenues of Dh2.99 billion for the first three months, while net income came to Dh355 million.

Same period last year, the Dubai company had revenues of Dh3.14 billion, which yielded Dh449 million in net profit.

The impact of COVID-19 on the company’s financial situation was “limited to March,” du said in a statement. “In Q2-2020, we expect a stronger negative impact resulting from the general lockdown of the activity, the limitation of sale activity, the change of customer behaviour and the strong reduction of tourism and trade activity.

“The unprecedented nature of the pandemic, the low visibility and the high uncertainty related to its evolution, its duration and its impact on the economy in general and the business in particular, makes the quantification of such impact quite difficult at this stage. “

Declining mobile revenue

The operator’s numbers from its mobile telephony business dropped 9.3 per cent to Dh1.5 billion. As has been the case across the industry, it was “impacted by lower voice revenues and a reduction in the prepaid customer base”.

“Mobile revenues were particularly under pressure due to movement restrictions put in place across the country, which led to a shift toward fixed usage that affected particularly the company due to the importance of prepaid in its revenue mix.”

Stick to the investment timeline

Du said it will stick to the “roadmap” on the deployment of investments to “ensure long-term value creation”.

“While we are taking the needed measure to manage effectively a difficult short-term situation, we keep our eyes on the long-term seeking to come out from the current situation stronger,” said Johan Dennelind, CEO of Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Co..

“Financially, we are taking proactive cost optimisation measures to manage the erosion of revenues, which is being driven by a reduction in mobile and other revenues.”

Du wins on fixed, drops on mobile
• Du’s subscriber base saw gains in the fixed segment, up by 7.9 per cent year-on-year, to 224,000 subscribers in Q1-2020.
• The mobile base declined year-on-year due to the impact from “MNMI-related disconnections in 2019”. MNMI refers to the ‘My Number, My Identity’ campaign run by TRA (Telecommunications Regulatory Authority). As of end March, the mobile subscriber base was at 7.4 million, down from 8.6 million a year earlier.