Illustrative only Image Credit: Courtesy: du

Dubai: Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (EITC), parent company of du, reported a 6.4 per cent increase in third-quarter revenue to Dh3.33 billion compared to Dh3.13 billion a year ago, fuelled by healthy growth in fixed-line income.

But its net profits suffered a 7.4 per cent decline to Dh441 million compared to Dh476 million a year ago.

“Overall du has posted a strong result in a tough business environment,” said Sukhdev Singh, executive director of market research and advisory firm Kantar AMRB.

“It is not surprising to note that the major impetus to growth has come from fixed line, where du has witnessed not only solid growth in subscribers but also a strong improvement in revenues. The growth is likely to coming from winning competition customers in traditionally Etisalat areas in addition to tailwind from new subscriptions in new communities,” he added.

The operator witnessed a five per cent increase in fixed line subscribers to 760,000 during the period compared to 724,000 a year ago.

It reported a 7.8 per cent increase in fixed line revenues to Dh579 million.

Osman Sultan, Chief Executive Officer of du and EITC, said in a statement that fixed line revenues are very healthy and continue to show strong growth.

Even though the mobile subscriber revenues increased by 0.3 per cent to Dh1.78 billion compared to Dh1.77 billion, its mobile subscriber numbers fell 3.3 per cent to 7.71 million compared to 7.97 million a year ago.

Despite a significant drop in the number of mobile subscribers, Singh said that du has maintained its revenues due to a good traction among post-paid subscriber base among whom ARPU (average revenue per user) is often much higher.

For the nine-month period, the Dubai-based telecom operator reported a 9.2 per cent increase in net profit to Dh1.41 billion compared to Dh1.29 billion a year ago while revenues rose 4.8 per cent to Dh10.01 billion.

“Despite more pressure in the pre-paid market, Mobile revenue remained stable at Dh5.40 billion, driven by growth in our post-paid customer segment during the first nine months of the year,” Sultan said.

The operator’s fixed-line revenues grew the same as in the third quarter of 7.8 per cent but to Dh1.72 billion. “We reported a solid normalised EBITDA growth of four per cent to Dh4.06 billion for the first nine months of 2018, which excludes the impact of one-off regulatory cost benefits. Reported EBITDA shows 8.3 per cent growth to Dh4.23 billion for the nine-month period ended September,” he said.

“Operationally, we made excellent progress during the quarter in advancing our digital transformation agenda and cementing our growth to a fully integrated ICT player,” he said.

EITC has opened recently a new track for growth that is not in the connectivity business by unveiling a ldea Hub.

“We believe that ICT is our biggest opportunity in the future to enhance the UAE’s position as a global hub for tourism, commerce and, more importantly, as a happy place to live,” Sultan said.

Telecom operators are licensed to offer connectivity services. On top of that, Sultan said that du can build a lot of services by partnering with other companies for smart city, hosting data services, smart home, managed services, etc.

Jihad Tayara, vice president for ICT commercial and business development at du, said that ICT sector has been the fastest growing space for the company.

“We have many projects ongoing from connected buildings and energy management in the IoT platform. Du is the strategic partner of Smart Dubai and we have more than 400 datasets from government organisations on Dubai Pulse platform,” he said.