- Growing customer base driving solid financial performance
- Continued growth in underlying corerevenue, + 2.4% compared to the second quarter 2014
- Underlying Group EBITDA of EUR 450 million, + 4.3% compared to the second quarter 2014
- 2015 full-year guidance revised upwards: underlying Group EBITDA expected to grow 3% to 5%
Solid operational trend confirmed in second quarter
BRUSSELS, 3-8-2015 — /EuropaWire/ — The Proximus Group showed good net customer growth for its two main brands, Proximus and Scarlet. Through the continuous improvements in customer experience, Proximus not only attracts new customers, but also obtains better customer retention, showing in lower churn levels. Scarlet’s Trio offer saw some further benefit from successfully attracting remaining Snow customers.
- + 61,000 mobile postpaid and -42,000 mobile prepaid cards bringing the total mobile customer base end-June to 5,736,000
- + 35,000 TV subscriptions, increasing the total TV customer base to 1,692,000
- + 25,000 fixed internet lines, increasing the total internet customer base to 1,813,000
- – 14,000 fixed voice lines, leading to a total of 2,822,000 lines
- +14,000 3 & 4-play households/small offices, for a total of 1,161,000, i.e. 42% of total customer base
- Convergent households/small offices grew to 54.7% (+3 p.p. vs previous year)
Another set of strong second quarter financials enable upward revised guidance
In the second quarter of 2015, the Proximus Group generated an underlying revenue of EUR 1,505 million, an increase of 1.5% compared to the second quarter of 2014.
This resulted from a 2.4% increase for Proximus’ underlying core revenue, driven by higher fixed and mobile revenues from a growing customer base and reduced churn. BICS reported a second quarter underlying revenue decline of 0.8%, after a very strong first quarter and from a high comparable basis.
The Proximus Group posted a 2.9% direct margin growth generating EUR 915 million, with the core business and BICS contributing equally to the year-on-year improvement.
For the second quarter 2015, the Proximus Group posted an underlying EBITDA of EUR 450 million, an increase of 4.3% compared with previous year. This was driven by a continued core business EBITDA growth (+ 1.6%), and another strong quarter for BICS (+34.9%).
In the second quarter of 2015, the Group invested EUR 272 million in capex, including EUR 75 million for spectrum renewal. Besides commercially driven capex, this also includes accelerated mobile investments, expanding the outdoor4G coverage to 96.5%, the continued roll-out of vectoring technology on the fixed network and higher investments in network and IT simplification.
Proximus generated EUR 207 million in free cash flow (FCF) in the second quarter of 2015, bringing the total FCF to EUR 215 million at end-June 2015.
Good progress on transformation of Proximus
The solid financials reflect the progress made on company-wide initiatives to transform Proximus into a more customer-centric, agile and efficient organization. The growing customer base is largely the result of the ongoing customer experience improvements. Within the residential segment, this is clearly reflected in mobile quality, an enhanced internet user experience and TV entertainment offering.
For the enterprise segment, Proximus is pioneer of LoRa TM technology, which will be rolled out in the main Belgian cities by the end of 2015, enabling further growth in the Internet of Things and Machine-to-Machine domain.
Proximus is also gradually connecting its business customers to its Fiber network which already covers 80% of industrial zonings. Alongside connectivity, Proximus continues to develop ICT services focused on security, cloud, unified communications and video and helpdesk services.
Reinventing Proximus TV
After the launch of TV Replay, allowing customers to watch TV programs they’ve missed, and the availability ofNetflix directly via the Proximus TV menus, Proximus is again pioneering TV in Belgium. By launching a new TV interface and SwipeBox later this year, Proximus will reinvent the way people watch TV and, once more, push the limits of television so that viewers can watch the content they want, wherever and whenever they want, on the device of their choice.
The new Proximus TV experience will be intuitive, user-friendly and convenient. This will be accompanied by a newProximus TV App that will ensure the same experience on smartphones and tablets, while transforming these devices into virtual remote controls. Proximus is also launching the SwipeBox, an innovative and easy-to-use solution allowing customers to instantly share personal content (e.g. pictures) and Internet content (e.g. videos) with family and friends by displaying the content from a smartphone or tablet onto a TV screen, for experiencing new moments together.
Dominique Leroy, CEO of the Proximus Group:
I’m proud to announce another strong set of figures.
Dominique Leroy, CEO of Proximus
With Proximus’ solid achievements so far we have beaten our own ambition, and see our growth objective to be achieved already in 2015.
The sustained rise in our customer base, thanks to our investments to improve the overall customer experience, benefits the financial performance of our core business, with both fixed and mobile revenue showing continued progress. This combined with a value-based approach led to a growing core direct margin. BICS also recorded another strong quarter, driven by the continued growth in margin and positive currency-effects.
Our achievements so far show that we are making good progress on our “Fit for Growth”-strategy and give us confidence to revise the full-year 2015 guidance upwards. Therefore, I believe that we will end the year 2015 with an underlying core revenue growth of around 2% and a Group underlying EBITDA growth of 3% to 5% compared to 2014. As a result Proximus will achieve its growth ambition one year earlier than expected.
|Guidance metrics||FY 2014||Outlook 201527 February 2015||Revised Outlook 201531 July 2015|
|Core underlying revenue||4,287 million||Stable to slightly positive||Around 2% growth|
|BICS underlying revenue||1,577 million||Stable||Slightly positive|
|Group underlying EBITDA||1,653 million||Stable to slightly positive||3% – 5 % growth|
|Capex (excl. spectrum license)||978 million*||About 900 million||About 900 million|
*Including the capitalized three-year broadcasting rights of the Belgian Jupiler Pro league football acquired in June 2014.