Mechelen-based cableco Telenet has announced an extension of its strategic partnership with mobile network operator Mobistar, with the duo confirming that they will continue their mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) deal until 2017. In revealing the updated contract it was confirmed that the Tecteo Group, which owns Walloon-based cableco VOO, will also be included in the agreement, with Tecteo also able to offer virtual mobile voice services over the Mobistar network. As previously reported by CommsUpdate, Telenet and the Tecteo Group are co-operating via a joint venture – Tecteo Telenet Bidco – to acquire Belgium’s fourth third-generation concession; the duo submitted an offer for 2×14.8MHz in the 2100MHz band back in June 2011. Commenting on the revised deal, Duco Sickinghe, Telenet’s CEO, said: ‘We are pleased to extend our strategic partnership with Mobistar. This will allow us to offer our clients even better and even more competitive rates.’
Telenet has meanwhile released its financial results for the three months ended 31 March 2012, revealing a more than 70% drop in net profit for the period. The cableco posted a net income of EUR12.2 million (USD16 million) for the first three months of 2012, although it noted that that figure included a loss on its interest rate derivatives of EUR17.6 million; by comparison, in the corresponding period of 2011 Telenet recorded a net profit of EUR42.8 million, including a EUR37.0 million gain on its interest rate derivatives and a EUR5.3 million loss on extinguishment of debt. Revenues for the three-month period increased by 10% year-on-year to EUR364 million, up from EUR332 million in 1Q11, with the operator in particular noting that this had been driven by ‘a higher share of multiple play, mobile and Sporting Telenet subscribers, higher stand alone handset sales and selective price increases on basic cable TV and broadband’. Adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) for the first quarter of 2012 were EUR192.6 million, up from EUR174.2 million in the corresponding period of 2011.
At the end of March 2012 Telenet’s cable broadband subscriber base had increased to 1.326 million, up 6% year-on-year, while fixed voice subscribers rose to 902,300, representing growth of 9% compared to end-March 2011. The operator’s mobile voice subscribers numbered 249,900 at the end of the quarter, reflecting a 19% rise against the year-ago period. Telenet also highlighted what it termed ‘robust’ net additions of 22,700 triple play subscribers, the company’s best results since the fourth quarter of 2009; at end-March 2012 the number of customers signed up to a triple-play package stood at 805,800, representing 37% of the cableco’s overall subscriber base.