Belgian fixed line incumbent Belgacom has posted its financial results for the nine months ended 30 September 2009, beating forecasts despite reporting a decline in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) and net income. The telco posted EBITDA of EUR1.488 billion (USD2.19 billion), down 2% on the same period a year earlier, while net income slumped 9.9% to EUR617 million. Revenues for the nine-month period however remained relatively stable, with Belgacom posting a 1% year-on-year increase to EUR4.47 billion. An 8.2% y-o-y increase in revenue at its consumer business unit helped to offset a 7.3% decline at its enterprise business unit, the latter of which Belgacom attributed to a combination of divestments and the country’s economic slowdown. It also noted that earnings had been boosted by its acquisition of Luxembourg-based mobile operator Tango and Belgian internet service provider Scarlet.
On the back of the results Belgacom reiterated its full year forecast, in which it expects revenues to drop by around 1% this year, with its EBITDA margin expected to be between 32% and 33%, down from 33.3% in 2008. Capital expenditure is likely to be around 10%-11% of group revenue in 2009.