du's stand at GITEX 2018 in Dubai.
Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company, the company behind Du, on Tuesday announced a 14% rise in first quarter net profit despite falling revenue.
Revenue fell to AED3.14 billion, down from AED3.33 billion in Q1 2018, as mobile revenue declined but net profit increased to AED449 million after royalty fees.
In Q1 2018, EITC recorded a one-off benefit related to regulatory costs, which positively impacted company profitability for the year 2018.
Consequently, and excluding the one-off benefit, like-for-like net profit after royalty increased, the company said in a statement.
It added that capex spend in Q1 was AED181 million, up by 74% compared to the same period last year, as the company ramps up preparations for the launch of 5G.
It said that mobile subscribers fell by 9.3% to 7.77 million, a result of a clean-up of its prepaid base as part of its My Number My Identity campaign.
Osman Sultan, EITC’s CEO, said: “We had a good start to the year, focusing on driving efficiency across the business to maintain profitability and increasing our capex spend as we prepare for the 5G launch very soon.
“Industry wide challenges, with continued pressure on voice revenues and data monetisation, are reflected in our top line results, with revenue decreasing 5.7%, mainly driven by the decline in mobile revenues of 8%.
"The growth in EBITDA and net profit is a result of good operational efficiency across the business.”
He added: “We take a long-term view and remain focused on implementing our strategy to drive more efficiency in our core business, while capturing new areas of growth through ICT as we reposition our company for the future of the telecom business.
"We have a strong capital position, enabling us to make the right investments in our business."