Sprint Nextel has announced its results for full year 2009, posting a net loss of USD2.44 billion for the twelve months ended 31 December 2009, a 13% year-on-year improvement. In 2008 the company suffered net losses to the tune of USD2.79 billion. While net loss improved, revenues continued to fall, down 9% from USD35.64 billion in 2008 to USD32.26 billion a year later. Operating income before interest, depreciation and amortisation (OIBDA) for the FY2009 was USD6.41 billion, down from USD7.66 billion. The company’s improving bottom lnie can mainly be attributed to lower capital expenditure in the twelve month period, which was cut by 47% year-on-year, totalling USD1.59 billion for the year. Despite this, the company completed a number of acquisitions over the course of the year and continued to invest in 4G services. CEO Dan Hesse said: ‘Sprint’s performance built notable momentum during the second half of 2009… We continue to closely manage costs, and in 2009 we generated the highest annual free cash flow since the merger. The fourth quarter completion of the Virgin Mobile USA and iPCS acquisitions, as well as our additional large investment in Clearwire, are important to our future.’
The company lost a total of 1.13 million wireless subscribers in the year ended 31 December 2009, finishing the period with a total customer base of 48.13 million. However, net losses are slowing, in the full year 2008 Sprint shed over 4.58 million subscribers. While the company’s post-paid and wholesale operations continued to decline, losing 2.71 million and 5.51 million net subscribers respectively, pre-paid additions are rising fast; at year-end 2009 the company had 10.69 million non-contract customers, up from 3.59 million a year earlier.