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Du sees near tripling of revenue

UAE operator's revenue jumps 183.8% to $82.33mn in Q2, doubles mobile phone customers.

Du, the UAE's second telecom company, said revenue almost tripled as it doubled its mobile phone customers in the second quarter and boosted sales of fixed-line telephone packages in Dubai.

In its first full quarter as mobile phone operator, du's revenues jumped 183.8% to AED302.3 million ($82.33 million), the firm said in a statement on the Dubai bourse website.

Du made a net loss in the quarter of AED280.8 million ($76.47 million). The net loss in the first quarter was AED215.84 million.

Analysts forecasts for du's second quarter loss ranged from AED244.10 million to AED363 million, according to a Reuters survey last month.

Du started a mobile phone network in February, ending the monopoly of etisalat, and had more than 553,000 mobile phone subscribers on June 30, it said.

"This is the first quarter we've had mobile phone revenues, which is partly behind the increase in revenues," chief executive Osman Sultan told Reuters, declining to give a breakdown of revenues.

The firm, which expects to turn its first profit by early 2010, also sold more fixed-line services to customers in Dubai, where it operates networks in a few residential and commercial developments, Sultan said.

Du is the only provider of telecom infrastructure in residential areas such as Emirates Hills, the Springs and the Greens, where state-owned Tecom Investments, which holds 20% of du, had a monopoly until last year.

"Developers are delivering more units in these areas and with that we have seen many people taking new packages," Sultan said, without being more specific. "There is no exclusivity any more, but for the moment we have the infrastructure there."

The UAE federal government owns 40% of du, while Abu Dhabi-government owned Mubadala Development Company. holds 20%.

Of the 20% of du's shares held by the public, foreign investors are allowed to own up to 22%.

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