Telecom company du made a Dh78 million profit in the final quarter of 2008 thanks to an increase in the number of both mobile phone and fixed-line customers, helping it to achieve its first full-year profit of Dh4.12m.
The fourth quarter figure compares with a net loss of Dh147m in the same period in 2007 and is more than twice as large as the Q3 2008 profit of Dh31m.
Du faced strong competition from etisalat, the UAE's dominant player for 14 years. However, it managed to add 628,000 mobile phone customers during the final quarter of 2008, taking total revenues to Dh1.227bn – nearly double the Dh640m figure for the same period in 2007.
"2008 was a year of milestones for du as we recorded a net profit for the first time," said Chairman Ahmad bin Byat.
"In December we passed the three million customers mark, more than doubling our customer base in less than a year. We start 2009 stronger than ever before, but mindful of potential challenges ahead."
In 2008 du added 1,881,000 mobile phone customers, with the total number increasing 104 per cent to 2,498,000.
This pushed mobile phone revenues up to Dh2.628bn, a huge rise of 274 per cent year on year.
The fixed-line subscriber base grew 72 per cent from 163,000 to 280,000 active users. The total revenues doubled to Dh3.951 billion.