Former monopoly operator Belgacom has reported that its net profit reached a record high for 2002 despite a decrease in revenues. Turnover for the year was down 2.9% to EUR5.22 billion, due primarily to a number of asset sales that included the disposal of Belgacom France, Belgacom Security Group and the cellco Ben Nederland. There was strong growth at the group’s cellular and data divisions as Belgacom Mobile reported a 51% rise in data traffic and Belgacom ADSL more than doubled its high speed internet connections to 517,000. Consolidated EBITDA stood at EUR1.99 billion, up from EUR1.92 twelve months earlier, while net profit was EUR911 million, from EUR499 million in 2001.
Mobistar, the closest rival to Belgacom Mobile in the country’s wireless market, also announced record growth in net profit as its 2002 revenues grew 15.2% year-on-year. Consolidated turnover reached EUR997.5 million as the Orange subsidiary’s active customer base grew by 6.5% to 2.31 million, a 32% share of the market. Net profit was EUR102.4 million, compared with a net loss of EUR30.5 million in 2001.