Germany’s mobilcom group announced yesterday that it aims to increase its core wireless earnings by around 50% to EUR60 million this financial year. mobilcom, which provides mobile services as a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), recorded its best results to date in 2004, with a rise in group turnover to EUR1.8973 billion (up 3.3% from EUR1.8376 billion in 2003), and a 5.3% sales increase in its wireless division alone; the unit accounted for around three quarters of total earnings for the year. EBITDA for the group was EUR166.6 million (EUR103.6 million in 2003) and EBIT was EUR94.3 million (EUR22.31 million). Mobile unit EBITDA tripled to EUR40.6 million. Net profit actually fell from EUR160.4 million to EUR46.7 million but the company has attributed the fall to proceeds from asset sales in 2003.
mobilcom’s confident growth predictions are backed up by its subscriber forecast – it expects its customer base to reach 4.8 million by the end of 2005, up from 4.56 million at the start of the year. Its base fluctuated in 2004 faced with tough competition from domestic operators T-Mobile, Vodafone, E-Plus and O2 Germany, in addition to main MVNO rival debitel. Subscriber figures for mobilcom reached a high of 4.623 million at the end of March before slipping to 4.2 million in June, only to rise again by 360,000 in H2.
mobilcom announced on Friday that it is planning to merge with its wireline and internet division freenet.de, in which it currently owns a 50.4% stake. The company stated that both parties want the merger to go ahead to create the potential for higher earnings via the pooling of cashflow and resources. The fixed line business was taken over by freenet.de in 2003, leaving mobilcom to concentrate on its core mobile services. If completed, the merger will create Germany’s only alternative ‘complete’ telecoms service operator.