DUBAI, April 25 Du, the United Arab
Emirates' No.2 telecom operator, reported a 24 percent fall in
first-quarter net profit on Tuesday, missing analysts'
The company has been squeezed since late 2014 as growth of
the mobile market has been offset by a steady increase in the
royalty - or tax - paid to the government.
Du, which ended rival Etisalat's domestic monopoly
in 2007, made a net profit of 364.9 million dirhams ($99.35
million) in the three months to March 31, down from 480.1
million dirhams in the year-earlier period.
SICO Bahrain had projected a net profit of 447.33 million
dirham and EFG Hermes had estimates of 474.02 million dirham for
the telecoms operator.
First-quarter revenue was 3.17 billion dirhams. This
compares with 3.09 billion dirhams a year ago.
Du paid quarterly royalties – or tax - of 486.3 million
dirhams, down from 541.2 million dirhams in the prior-year
Chief Executive Osman Sultan said on Feb. 16 the
telecommunications firm would target 1 billion dirhams ($272
million) in savings by 2019 as government taxes erode profit.
($1 = 3.6729 UAE dirham)
(Reporting by Alexander Cornwell and Saeed Azhar; Editing by