Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (Du), the UAE’s second national operator, has announced its financial results for the three months ended 31 March 2011, reporting revenue of AED2.038 billion (USD554.8 million), an increase of 29% compared to the AED1.580 billion posted in the corresponding period of 2010. The company’s earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) jumped 69.4% year-on-year to AED621 million, while net profit before royalty for the first quarter of 2011 increased 112% over Q1 2010 to AED412 million. Following the government’s announcement that Du would pay a 15% royalty rate for the year ended 31 December 2010, the company will provision for royalty payments of 50% of its profits until it is advised on the rate for 2011. Du expects to invest a total of AED1.7 billion in 2011, with AED477 million accounted for during the first quarter of the year, 52% of which was spent on the rollout of its mobile network.
Subscriber growth and rising data usage were the key drivers behind Du’s strong sustained mobile revenues, which reached AED1.576 billion, up 35% compared to AED1.167 billion in Q1 2010. Mobile data revenues more than doubled from AED59 million in Q1 2010 to AED141 million a year later, and accounted for 9% of total mobile revenues. Du said it added 272,000 net active mobile subscribers during the quarter, taking its wireless customer base to 4.604 million at 31 March 2011, of which 306,400 were post-paid customers (7% of the total base), up 87% year-on-year. Mobile average revenue per user (ARPU) remained steady, at AED118 for the quarter, up from AED108 during the same period a year earlier. Revenues generated by Du’s fixed business, including fixed telephony, TV and broadband, amounted to AED337 million, a 27% year-on-year increase. The company’s fixed line subscriber base grew 27.3% from 456,700 in the first quarter of 2010 to 581,500 a year later, with 20,700 lines added during the quarter. Du has forecast a nationwide rollout of its fixed line services before the end of the year.