Du 'profitable by end of year' - CEO

Telecom firm chief executive confident it will be in the black ahead of original target date.

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By  Ola Galal Published  July 25, 2008

UAE-based telecom provider Du is expected to turn profitable by December this year ahead of its original target date, its chief executive said in remarks published on Friday.

Du's second-quarter net loss narrowed to $11.98 million, less than a sixth of losses posted in the year-ago period, as revenue tripled on a rise in mobile subscriptions.

"We are expected to be profitable by the last quarter of this year itself, much before the promised horizon," Osman Sultan told Emirates Business 24/7.

Sultan had told newswire Reuters last year that the telecom firm, which started operations in February 2007, would start making profit at the end of 2009.

"Du has reported a steady financial growth over the first half of 2008, which we expect to continue for the remainder of the year," Chairman Ahmed bin Byat was quoted as saying in Emirates Business.

Du's revenue tripled to 908 million dirhams for the period ended June 30, and the number of mobile telephone subscriptions rose to 2.3 million, an addition of 500,000 subscribers in the quarter, it said on Thursday.

The firm's shares are down almost 23 percent this year, underperforming shares of rival Etisalat, the second-largest telecom firm by market value, which have risen more than 4 percent this year.

Etisalat posted a 58 percent jump in second-quarter profit. (Reuters)

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