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No international expansion on cards – Du CEO

Osman Sultan says regional and global telecoms market is already overcrowded

No international expansion on cards – Du CEO
CEO Osman Sultan says Du has no intention of expanding outside the UAE.

UAE telecoms Du has categorically ruled out any international expansion plans, the firm’s CEO has said.

“There is no intention of going outside the UAE – there is no value in taking that approach either for Du or for its shareholders,” Du CEO Osman Sultan told reporters on Wednesday.

The executive added that the regional and global telecoms market was already overcrowded.

“The price for the entry ticket is high and there are no more greenfields. Margins are becoming more squeezed, which destroys any value for shareholders,” Sultan said.

The Du CEO refused to be drawn on profits expectations for 2010, but stated that he “clearly expected that the [Du’s] growth rate would be above the market average.”

Sultan also indicated that Du would be spending around $599 million on network infrastructure this year, a little under the $653 million it spent in 2009.

When asked whether there was enough room for another mobile operator in the UAE, given the third licence handed out in Bahrain last year, Osman told Arabian Business that “the UAE market was much more penetrated than any others.”

For its full year results, Du announced that revenues grew 35 percent to $1.45bn in 2009.

The number of active mobile subscribers grew 41 percent year-on-year to reach 1,011,200 in total, while post paid active mobile subscribers more than doubled during the year to 137,500 from 66,300 in 2008.

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