(Releads on strategy, adds CEO comments, details)
DUBAI, Nov 1 (Reuters) - United Arab Emirates telecom company du is focusing on increasing fixed-line and post-paid mobile revenue to counter a fall in prepaid customers, its chief executive said on Thursday.
Mobile revenue was up 0.3 percent in the third quarter as the number of mobile subscribers fell 3.3 percent. Fixed-line revenue rose 7.8 percent as subscribers rose 5 percent.
Chief Executive Osman Sultan said the fall in prepaid subscribers was greater than post-paid but the overall 3.3 drop was largely due to a government policy to disconnect numbers not used for a prolonged period of time or that were not registered.
Du does not disclose a breakdown of post-paid and prepaid customers.
Sultan said on a conference call that du was working to grow post-paid revenue by simplifying post-paid mobile plans, offering more paid packages and improving customer experience.
Du, also known as Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Co (EITC), offers mobile services under its own “du” brand and also a Virgin Mobile brand largely focused on prepaid.
The company had 7.7 million mobile subscribers as of Sept. 30.
The company had 760,000 fixed-line subscribers as of Sept. 30, which Sultan said gave it 16 percent of the UAE’s fixed-line market. Du earlier announced a 7.4 percent decline in third-quarter profit after royalty to 441 million dirhams ($120 million).
Sultan said the quarterly drop was due to a reversal of a depreciation cost in 2017, which he declined to disclose.
The telecom company and its rival Etisalat have to pay the UAE government a royalty tax on revenue and profit. In the third quarter, du paid 531.1 million dirhams in royalties.
Etisalat last week reported a 4.2 percent drop in third-quarter net profit. (Reporting by Alexander Cornwell Editing by Sunil Nair and Edmund Blair)