October 31, 2017 / 5:16 AM / a year ago

UAE telco du posts 4 pct rise in Q3 profit, in line with two forecasts

DUBAI, Oct 31 (Reuters) - Du, the United Arab Emirates’ No.2 telecom operator, posted a 4 percent rise in third-quarter net profit on Tuesday, in line with the forecasts of two analysts.

Du, which ended rival Etisalat’s domestic monopoly in 2007, made a net profit after royalty of 475.7 million dirhams ($129.5 million) in the three months to Sept. 30, compared with 457.2 million dirhams a year earlier.

SICO Bahrain forecast du to post a quarterly profit of 453.5 million dirhams, while EFG Hermes estimated 454.6 million dirhams.

Third-quarter revenue was 3.13 billion dirhams, slightly down from 3.14 billion dirhams in the same period of last year.

But du was helped by a decline in the royalties it paid to the government. It paid 515.2 million dirhams in the quarter, compared with 537.9 million dirhams in the same period of last year.

Before reporting flat profit growth for the second quarter, the telecommunications firm had reported declining year-on-year profits for the previous 10 quarters, according to Reuters data, as growth of the mobile market was offset by a steady rise in the royalties it paid.

In January, the company said it had acquired a licence to operate Virgin Mobile-branded services in the UAE. ($1 = 3.6729 UAE dirham) (Reporting By Tom Arnold; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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