UAE-based telecoms operator Du has announced its results for the year ended 31 December 2009, recording net profit before royalty of AED528 million (USD143.7 million), up from AED8 million in the previous year, on the back of strong growth in mobile subscribers. The company’s full year 2009 revenue grew by 35% to reach AED5.34 billion, compared to AED3.95 billion in 2008, while earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) totalled AED1.06 billion, up 189% year-on-year compared to the AED369 million recorded a year earlier. In the fourth quarter of 2009 total revenues reached AED1.53 billion, up 25% compared to Q4 2008 and representing Du’s highest every quarterly figure, while EBITDA totalled AED366 million, corresponding to a 55% increase compared to the AED236 million posted in the fourth quarter of 2009. Net profit before royalty of AED209 million was generated in 4Q09, up 155% year-on-year.
During 2009 Du acquired 1.011 million active mobile subscribers (including 337,900 in Q4 alone), representing a 41% increase year-on-year. At 31 December 2009 the company recorded a total wireless customer base of 3.47 million. Post-paid users more than doubled during the year to 137,500 from 66,300 in 2008. The subscriber growth resulted in strong mobile revenues which reached AED3.73 billion for the twelve-month period, up 42% year-on-year, whilst in 4Q09 the highest mobile revenues for a quarter were registered, reaching AED1.11 billion. The fixed line business, including fixed telephony, TV and broadband, generated revenue of AED970 million. Du’s fixed line customer base increased from 280,300 at year-end 2008 to 405,900 a year later. Capital expenditure surpassed AED2 billion in 2009, finishing the year at AED2.43 billion (AED2.34 million in FY08), with AED960 million accounted for during Q4 09. During 2009 the company added 717 2G cell sites extending coverage to 99% of the UAE’s population, along with an extra 786 3G sites resulting in population coverage of more than 80%. The company has set aside AED2.2 billion for network expansion and improvement in 2010.