Based on its ‘strong’ performance for the first six months of the year, German mobile service provider freenet has announced it has raised its guidance for the full financial year 2011. The company said it now expects recurring group earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of EUR350 million (USD498 million), compared to the EUR325 million previously anticipated, while free cash flow is now forecast to exceed EUR220 million, up from EUR200 million. In the first half of 2011 freenet generated recurring group EBITDA of EUR173.9 million, relatively stable compared to EUR174.3 million in the year-ago period, while second-quarter EBITDA came in at EUR89.7 million, down from EUR95.3 million in Q2 2010. Due to a year-on-year reduction in its customer base, revenue fell as expected in the first half of 2011, to EUR1.546 billion (down 5.6% from EUR1.638 billion in 1H 2010), while net profit (including discontinued operations) for the period amounted to EUR46.9 million, up from EUR44.4 million in the first half of 2010. Revenue and net profit for the second quarter of 2011 came in at EUR757.5 million (2Q10: EUR835.3 million) and EUR20.8 million (EUR23.6 million), respectively.
freenet’s mobile communications segment accounted for EUR1.512 billion of the firm’s total turnover in the first half of 2011, down from EUR1.598 million in the year-ago period, while recurring EBITDA climbed from EUR168.2 million to EUR169.4 million over the same period. At 30 June 2011 the company reported a mobile customer base of 15.20 million (down from 16.53 million twelve months earlier), of which 7.32 million were pre-paid customers (compared to 8.08 million a year earlier), 5.84 million were contract users (6.6 million) and the remaining 2.05 million were customers of no-frills brands (up from 1.85 million a year earlier). The company now expects to lose less than 450,000 contract customers in FY 2011, down from the previously anticipated loss of 500,000 post-paid subscribers.