x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 20 July 2017

Profits and subscriber numbers up for du

Markets Update: Du adds more than 320,000 mobile subscribers in the first quarter of the year, helping push up profits by 62 per cent.

Du is studying expansion outside the UAE, as it looks to sustain its rosy profits growth having added 320,600 mobile subscribers in the first quarter of this year.

The telecommunications firm is gaining ground on rival Etisalat on its home turf, but unlike the older operator has not ventured outside the UAE.

Osman Sultan, the chief executive of du, said the company is now studying the launch of mobile services in markets such as Saudi Arabia.

That would be part of a bid to sustain du’s growth, after the company reported a 61.8 per cent rise in profits in the first quarter, Mr Sultan said.

Du would not look to build its own mobile networks outside the UAE.

Instead, the company was studying the possibility of du entering foreign markets as a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), Mr Sultan said.

Such operators do not own their own telecoms infrastructure, but piggyback on other operators’ networks to sell telecoms services to consumers.

“We have people looking and studying the potential opportunities in MVNOs,” he said.

The UAE telecommunications operator today reported a 61.8 per cent rise in profits in the first quarter, as it approaches parity with Etisalat in terms of mobile subscribers.

Du, which launched commercial services in 2007, now claims a 46.7 per cent share of the UAE mobile market, it said in a statement issued this morning.

The increase in its mobile-subscriber base helped push up net profits to Dh666 million before the royalty it pays to the government, up from Dh412 million during the same period last year.

Its revenues increased to Dh2.4 billion, up by 20.1 per cent compared with the first quarter of 2011. Revenues from du’s mobile business made up Dh1.9 billion of that, an increase of 21.8 per cent on last year.

Aside from more mobile subscribers, du also reported an increase in users surfing the web using their phones.

The operator said its had more than doubled its mobile-data revenues in the first quarter to Dh297 million, up from Dh141 million in the first quarter of 2011. Data now accounts for 15.5 per cent of the operator’s total mobile revenues, du said.

bflanagan@thenational.ae.

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