UAE-based telecom operator Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company, parent company of du, reported a 2.5% increase in second-quarter profit to AED 464m compared to AED 453m a year ago, fuelled by a growth in fixed-line revenues.
After deducting AED 13m, corresponding to the impact of IFRS-16 on the second quarter, the like-for-like profit surged by 5.5% from AED440m in the second quarter of last year.
The Board of Directors approved the distribution of AED 589m of interim dividends to its shareholders for the first half of 2019 resulting in 13 fils per share.
The operator’s revenue fell by 4.8 per cent to AED 3.19b compared to AED 3.35b a year ago due to 6.8% decline in mobile revenue to AED 1.69b compared to AED 1.82b a year ago.
At the same time, the fixed revenues increased by 5.8% to AED 617m compared to AED 583m.
Arrests erosion of EBITDA
“It is clear that our efficiency plan and investments in new technologies to drive forward our digital strategy and prepare our company for the needs of tomorrow allowed us to contain the erosion of EBITDA. The result of this has been a solid EBITDA performance of AED 1.47b,” Osman Sultan, Chief Executive Officer of EITC and du, said in a statement.
He said that “revenues were impacted by industry wide challenges, particularly, and the continued pressure on voice revenues.
“Our mobile subscriber mix for the quarter improved, with higher value customers driving up mobile ARPU, by 3.8% compared to the same period last year. However, our total mobile subscriber number declined due to the continued clean-up of our prepaid base in line with the “My Number My Identity” Campaign. Fixed line subscribers increased by 2.4% during the second quarter of the year,” he said.
Mobile subscribers fall 8.9%
The operator reported an 8.9% decrease in mobile subscribers to 7.22m compared to 7.92m a year ago while fixed-line subscribers increased by 2.4% to 773,000 compared to 755,000 a year ago.
“We continue investing in our business to meet the needs of tomorrow. Our strong capital position enabled us to increase our capital expenditure to AED 467m during the first half of 2019, investing in our network and capabilities, paving the way for the commercial launch of 5G technology and preparing our company for a new era in connectivity,” Sultan said.
For the second quarter, the operator’s capex increased by 93%, compared to the same period last year, to AED 286m.