Stock du telecom
du connects with the right growth numbers in the first three months. But depreciation charges offset some of the earnings growth. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Dubai: Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Co., which operates du, delivered a smart 21 per cent gain in net profit for the first three months of 2022 to Dh311 million. What du will particularly find pleasing is the Dh3.1 billion generated by broadband and mobile services, which is a gain of 8.5 per cent year-on-year. It will be looking for more from these going forward with the launch of 5G services delivered to homes.

However, "The impact of higher EBITDA was partially offset by increased depreciation charges triggered by our infrastructure investment," du said in a statement.

“Our Q1-22 results confirm our recovery trajectory is on a sustainable path,” said Fahad Al Hassawi, CEO. “The COVID-19 impact is phasing out. We continued to experience increased mobility and a general improvement in the economic environment. “Our considerable infrastructure investment allows us to continue innovating and improve customer experience. More importantly, it sets the foundations for continued strong performance.”

In the recent past, du had come out with a revised growth strategy for the medium-term, with continued emphasis on 5G investments and network rollout. The operating free cashflow was higher by 75 per cent to Dh964 million thanks to higher EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) and capex patterns that are ‘beginning to normalize’.

du subscriber numbers
There was a 10.4% increase in mobile customers, ending the quarter with 7.5 million subscribers on 'healthy net-additions across the postpaid and prepaid segments'.

"We delivered a third consecutive quarter of net-additions on the postpaid segment which grew to 1.4 million customers," the company said in a statement. "Our prepaid customer base increased to 6.1 million thanks to targeted offers, brisk tourism activity and continued improvement in the economic environment.

Broadband additions
There were 48,000 new customers (Q1-21 had 13,000) and ended the quarter with 439,000 broadband subscribers. "Our commercial initiatives across various product categories and the disciplined execution of our broadband strategy helped drive another quarter of solid performance," du added.

Improved returns

Revenues from core services were 6.9 per cent to Dh1.40 billion, and handset sales generated another Dh216 million. Fixed services were up 22.8 per cent to Dh815 million on ‘sustained demand from consumer and enterprise customers’.

"This quarter’s performance validates our strategy - my team is focused on growth," the CEO said. "We are committed to re-invigorating our core mobile and fixed operations while pursuing modernization of our infrastructure. We will continue to work to maintain this positive commercial momentum throughout 2022.”