By Sam Bridge
Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company chairman hails 'strong results' in 'challenging environment'
Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company, parent of telco Du, on Tuesday reported a 9.3 percent in its annual net profit for 2019 to AED1.73 billion ($470 million).
The telecoms operator also announced an acceleration in the deployment of its investment plan, particularly in connection with 5G roll-out and fibre network expansion with annual capital expenditures reaching AED1.5 billion.
The board recommended a dividend distribution of 34 fils per share out of which 13 fils per share have been already paid in August as an interim dividend.
EITC also reported annual revenues of AED12.59 billion, showing an erosion of 6.2 percent as growth of fixed and ICT revenues absorbed partially the pressure on mobile prepaid revenues adversely impacted by pricing, competition and the negative impact on the base of the SIM registration disconnections.
Capital expenditure increased by 46.8 percent to AED1.5 billion - 12 percent of revenues - reflecting continuation of the investment in 5G network rollout, fibre network expansion and IT modernization and transformation initiatives.
EITC’s subscriber base continued its growth in the fixed segment reaching 219,000 at the end of 2019 while stabilising its mobile base.
Mohamed Al Hussaini, chairman of EITC said: “I am pleased with the strong results that EITC was able to achieve despite the challenging environment that the telecom market went through in 2019. EITC was able to absorb fully the pressure on its revenues through increasing focus on promising growing revenue streams, better mix of its base and increased efficiency.”
Johan Dennelind, new CEO of EITC added: “2019 has been a year of paradigm shift in the telecommunication industry in UAE. I note that EITC has been able to navigate in a changing environment, starting to pull growth levers in promising business lines, to protect its margins and profitability and to inject important capital towards the deployment and modernization of its infrastructure.
"As the new CEO, I will work with the team to define and then execute a full transformational plan for the Company to deliver on the digital promise, further improve customer experience and be at the forefront of the new technological evolutions aiming for a world class digital telco creating value for our shareholders.”