Du breaks even for first time

UPDATE 1: Dubai telco makes profit a year ahead of plan with Q3 income of $8.57mn on subscriber growth.

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By  Ola Galal Published  November 2, 2008

Dubai-based telecom firm Du made its first profit ever in the third quarter, a year ahead of plan, with 31.47 million dirhams ($8.57 million) in net income due to growth in subscription numbers.

Revenue more than doubled to 1.06 billion dirhams in the three months to Sept. 30 compared with 412.23 million dirhams a year earlier, the firm said in a statement on Sunday.

Du, which started operations in February 2007, added 453,000 mobile telephone subscriptions to the existing 2.67 million subscriptions and fixed-line subscriptions grew by 30,000 to reach 248,000 in the same period, it said.

Prime Group had forecast that Du would report a net loss of 44.0 million dirhams in the third quarter.

Du's rival Emirates Telecommunication Corp. (Etisalat) profit grew 19 percent to 2.1 billion dirhams in the third quarter.

Telecom firms in the world's top oil-exporting region have been expanding their operations at home and abroad as the economy grows and the population expands.

But unlike Etisalat, which is snapping up assets in Asia and Africa, Du has not as of yet hinted it was looking at opportunities outside the UAE, where mobile telephone penetration exceeds 150 percent among its 4.5 million people.

Du has neared a 30-percent share in the mobile telephone market at the end of September on faster subscription growth, Chief Executive Osman Sultan said last month.

The company's shares have lost 44.13 percent this year to last week's close, underperforming rival Etisalat, which is down 16.67 percent. (Reuters)

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