Israel’s largest mobile network operator by subscribers, Cellcom, has released its financial results for the three months ended 30 September 2009, posting a 19.4% year-on-year increase in net profit to ILS298 million (USD77 million), a rise attributed to higher revenues and a one-off tax gain. Excluding the impact of the one-off tax income and a one-off provision, net profit for the three-month period was ILS259 million, representing a 7% y-o-y rise. Revenue for the cellco’s third fiscal quarter was ILS1.68 billion, up 1.5% against the same period a year earlier, with the telco noting the importance of revenue growth from content and value added services (VAS), up 32.4% y-o-y to ILS229 million, representing 15.3% of service revenue. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA), not taking into account the effect of a one-off provision in the quarter, totalled ILS670 million, a 2.6% increase; including the provision, EBITDA was ILS655 million, up 0.3% against 3Q 2008.
Subscriber numbers for the cellco also continue to climb, with Cellcom reporting that at end-September 2009 it had 3.26 million subscribers, up from 3.16 million a year earlier, while 3G subscriber numbers rose to 941,000, compared to 679,000 at end-September 2008.
Commenting on the results, Amos Shapira, Cellcom’s chief executive officer said: ‘This has been another quarter of strong financial performance as we achieved record revenues, operating income and EBITDA, all of which the highest in the company’s history. We continued to strengthen our leading market position, further increasing our customer base, with an approximate 39% year over year increase in our 3G subscribers, characterized by higher ARPU. This strong financial performance and growing market position is especially noteworthy in light of the ongoing airtime price erosion, the competitive and regulatory environment, as well as the challenging macro-economic environment.’