Du posts dividend, but must remain innovative

Telecom provider du announced a dividend at its annual meeting.
Telecom provider du announced a dividend at its annual meeting.
In a general meeting of Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (du) in March, leaders announced a dividend of $0.05 per share for the second half of 2015 - total annual dividend for the company's stock is now $0.12 per share.

Since then, company leaders have continued to work on delivering some of the aspects of their mission statements and goals that they have put online for investors and others.

As a major broadband and telecom provider in the region, du serves 6.5 million mobile costumers, as well as 550,000 fixed line subscribers, 180,000 home services customers and 70,000 businesses. Since 2006, du has been a mainstay in the Gulf area telecom industries and won the Arc Chart’s “Best Mobile Broadband Network” award for the Middle East and Africa in 2012. The company's top leadership is over 50 percent United Arab Emirates nationals and annual revenues are around $2.7 billion.

“Since inception, we have established a coherent growth strategy for the future of business ... (and are) delighted to announce final dividend payment.” du Chairman Ahmad Bin Byat said.

In response to questions from the Gulf News Journal about the dividend, du media contacts pointed to an annual 2015 report in which leaders go over the recent numbers and talk about innovation and evolution for the company’s future. In the 2015 report, dated April 6, 2016, company leaders talk about high employee engagement levels, a major recycling effort for electronic waste and other sustainability goals.

“As a responsible business, we have always had a strong focus on our relationship with not only our government, but with society and the environment in which we operate,” du CEO Osman Sultan said. “Creating a sustainable ecosystem for the future is in all of our hands, and as we continue to transform, we remain steadfast in our approach to sustainability and our support of the government’s vision in the hope that it will continue to differentiate us in the marketplace and enhance lives across the UAE.”

The report cites du’s receipt of the Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Business Excellence Award and the Gallup Great Workplace 2015 Award.

“Du has fostered the importance of encouraging entrepreneurship in the region in order to drive the economy from a grassroots level.” wrote company leaders, detailing new steps to promote the combination of profit and ecology. Environmentally, they say, du undertook massive efforts to reduce its carbon footprint by recycling more than 320 tons of electronic waste. Moreover, the company increased its ratio of recycled paper for office consumption and further cut down on paper waste by promoting e-billing services.

“Our sustainability efforts are improving as we continue to expand as a business.”  Hala Badri, du executive vice president of rand and communications, said.  “We will continue to follow our four pillars of sustainability, including supporting education, entrepreneurship, the UAE culture and heritage and environment preservation closely. It is important that we take responsibility for our future as a company and create an environment that promotes green practices within the corporate community, and that we consistently encourage others to do the same.”

Nancy Butler is a professional speaker on asset management and other financial topics with her own business, Above All Else, and whose commentary has appeared in such publications as USA Today, Money Magazine, the Chicago Tribune, AARP and The Day.

"Companies that pay dividends are typically thought of in the public eye as more stable than those that do not." Butler told Gulf News Journal. "This can attract investors and help raise the price of the stock."

As for the company's long term goals, Butler said du needs to keep looking at its bottom line.

"It is important for companies to remain innovative and current," Butler said. "This means they need to maintain the proper balance between the amount of earnings that is reinvested back into the company and the amount that is paid out as a dividend."



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