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Mon 27 Apr 2020 01:43 PM

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Du CEO warns 'worst is still ahead' for UAE telco amid Covid-19 crisis

Company previously announced year-on-year 4.8% drop in revenues for Q1

Du CEO warns 'worst is still ahead' for UAE telco amid Covid-19 crisis

Johan Dennelind, chief executive officer of Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (EITC).

The CEO of Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (EITC), Johan Dennelind, has warned of tough times ahead for the provider, who last week announced a year-on-year 4.8 percent drop in revenues to AED2.99 billion for the first quarter of 2020.

According to a company statement last week, Q1 2020 EBITDA and net income were down by 10.8 percent (AED1.266bn) and 21 percent (AED335m) year-on-year respectively, driven by a decline in mobile revenues as a result of customers moving towards more prepaid options as opposed to fixed contracts.

Dennelind told Arabian Business: “We have only talked about Q1 and as you see our revenues are down five percent on year-on-year for the quarter and moving forward we expect the worst is still ahead of us in terms of our revenue impact and we’re mitigating more on the cost side to try to stay in the right zone.

“Having said that we are trying to maintain our investments to stay on the change plan for the future.”

Headcount

Dennelind said 98 percent of the workforce is currently working from home, due to the continuing restrictions on movement issued by the UAE Government.

“We have kept as much as we can going and people are working. We haven’t adjusted that but we are not excluding anything for the future, but we are happy that we are able to keep our staff engaged and busy to keep the country running,” he said.

While he moved quickly to stress there were no immediate plans to look at reducing headcount or looking at the number of hours worked or salaries.

He added: “We haven’t done any major changes. Going forward, depending on how long this will go on, we will, of course, have to take a view on our cost base overall, but there are other things we can do on the cost side before we get to that point.”

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