United Internet, which provides internet access under the brand name 1&1, has posted consolidated revenue of EUR1.009 billion (USD1.45 billion) in the first half of 2011, an increase of 8.4% from EUR930.8 million in the year-ago period and representing the first time it has exceeded EUR1 billion in its first half-year. The company said that despite high costs for new customer acquisition and the development of new products, as well as further international expansion, earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) increased 10.4% from EUR182 million in 1H10 to EUR200.9 million twelve months later. United Internet’s internet access segment saw sales rise 9.1% year-on-year to EUR657.2 million, driven by a rise in total customers from 3.5 million at 30 June 2010 to 3.79 million a year later. Of that total, 2.41 million were DSL customers on ‘complete’ packages (up from 2.01 million a year earlier), 480,000 were mobile internet users (90,000) and the remaining 900,000 were narrowband and T-DSL/R-DSL subscribers (down from 1.4 million). The internet access segment saw EBITDA remain relatively stable year-on-year at EUR65.5 million (1H10: EUR66.2 million), due to an increase in costs for new customer acquisition, particularly due to the additional marketing of new mobile internet products.
In view of the successful first half, United Internet has raised its sales guidance and now expects record consolidated sales of around EUR2.050 billion in FY 2011. At the same time, the company has raised its customer growth forecast for 2011 by 20%, from 700,000 contracts to 840,000. Despite strongly increased sales and marketing budgets, United Internet expects EBITDA to reach approximately EUR350 million and has upheld its EBT guidance of around EUR250 million.