Du's stock has been a high flier in recent weeks, and getting a further boost after it raised foreign ownership limit to 49%. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Revenues and net profit held up well for the telecom major du, weighing in at Dh11.08 billion and Dh1.44 billion, respectively, and seeing off an exceptionally difficult year marked by COVID-19 concerns. That compares with the Dh12.59 billion and Dh1.73 billion it generated during 2019.

Despite the pandemic, du saw its capex (capital expenditure) shoot up 24.1 per cent last year to Dh1.87 billion, used on network upgrades as well as further top ups ti its 5G services.

The Dubai headquartered company has recommended 28 fils a share as dividend, of which Dh13 fils were paid in August as interim dividend. (For 2019, the payout was set at 34 fils.)

The Board resolved to open up to 49% of the company’s share capital for investment from non-UAE investors. This is an important development in our corporate journey, and we are delighted to offer all qualified investors the opportunity to invest in our company, and be a part of our success and journey going forward

- Mohamed Al Hussaini, Chairman

Best in five years

“2020 proved how important the telecommunication sector is for our economy and society as its infrastructure constitutes the backbone of the digital ecosystem,” said Mohamed Al Hussaini, Chairman of EITC (Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Co.)

“We increased our capital expenditure by 24.1 per cent to reach Dh1.87 billion, representing the company’s highest level of capital intensity over the last five years.”

The company, which recently raised its foreign ownership limit in its stocks to 49 per cent, saw fourth quarter 2020 mobile revenues "almost stable" at Dh1.32 billion, compared to Dh1.33 billion in the third quarter. This despite the impact "from the pandemic and changes in population and mobility patterns".

In the final three months, du reported 1 per cent increase (when compared to third quarter) in mobile subscriber base, to 6.66 million.

  1. du's fixed revenues grew by 3% year-over-year to Dh2.57 billion in 2020. This was supported by a 7.4% increase in the fixed subscriber base during the time.