In a quarter where it claimed results were ‘once again squeezed by the impact of regulation’, Belgium’s second largest mobile network operator by subscribers, Mobistar, posted a 12.6% decline in consolidated net profit. For the three months ended 30 September 2011 Mobistar reported a net income of EUR168.5 million (USD265.6 million), down from EUR192.8 million, with the company noting that results were ‘negatively impacted by rising depreciation as a result of a shortened depreciation period for certain fixed assets and higher financial costs as a consequence of the renegotiation of loans at the end of 2010.’ Consolidated turnover for the three-month period stood at EUR1.225 billion, down 0.7% year-on-year from EUR1.233 billion, while service revenues in 3Q11 were EUR1.127 billion compared to EUR1.136 billion in 3Q10. Mobistar noted that the fall in roaming tariffs in July 2011 and the lowering of mobile termination rate (MTR) tariffs in August 2010 and January 2011 had a negative impact of EUR69 million on turnover. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) for the quarter meanwhile was EUR400.9 million, down 4.1% y-o-y from EUR418.2 million.
At the end of September 2011 Mobistar’s mobile subscriber base, including customers attributed to its Luxembourg-based subsidiary, stood at 4.150 million, up 3.6% compared to the 4.004 million it reported a year earlier. Its domestic operations remain responsible for the lion’s share of customers, with Mobistar’s Belgian mobile subscribers, including those attributed to mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) totalling 4.052 million, up from 3.918 million. ADSL subscribers meanwhile stood at 71,377 at end-September 2011, up from 48,730 a year previously, while active fixed telephone lines numbered 212,675, up from 172,364.