Belgium wireless operator Mobistar has posted better-than-expected first half 2006 results, but warned that proposed European Union rules cutting roaming fees could knock up to 4% off its future revenues. In common with other major European operators, Mobistar recently cut its international roaming fees, by up to 28%. It could, however, be forced into further cuts if EU draft legislation is passed. ‘The rules, as they are currently drafted, could lower total revenue by 2% to 4%,’ Mobistar Chief Executive Bernard Moscheni warned. He said roaming charges currently account for around 17.5% of Mobistar’s turnover.
Mobistar saw revenues rise 7.7% year-on-year in the six months ended 30 June 2006, up to EUR772 million (USD971 million). EBITDA was EUR308.9 million, up 8.8%, and net profit increased 9.2% rise to EUR147.8 million. At the end of June 2006 Mobistar had a total of 3.02 million active customers, up 5.3% year-on-year and an increase of 106,702 from the beginning of 2006; post-paid customers accounted for 48% of all users. Blended average revenue per user (ARPU) rose 5.9% to EUR39.05. Mobistar entered the broadband market in October 2005, as part of plans to establish itself as a provider of bundled mobile and fixed line/broadband services. However, by the end of the period it signed up less than 10,000 ADSL customers, a lower number than expected, which it attributed to a ‘difficult market situation in Belgium and the still-inadequate brand awareness of its ADSL offer’.