German mobile service provider freenet has reported its preliminary results for the twelve months ended 31 December 2012, announcing group earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of EUR357.8 million (USD465.8 million), compared to EUR337.4 million in 2011 and exceeding the full year guidance of EUR550 million. Revenues for the twelve-month period totalled EUR3.089 billion, down from EUR3.266 billion the previous year, with freenet’s mobile communications segment contributing sales of EUR3.193 billion (compared to EUR3.025 billion in 2011). The company said that the decline in revenues against near-stable ARPU resulted from: reduced hardware sales with lower margins; lower revenues from pre-paid customers due to the elimination of inactive SIM cards, which did not affect net income; and a year-on-year reduction in the average contract customer base as a result of the strategic focus on high-value customer relationships. Group net profit for 2012 totalled EUR173.2 million, up 20.3% from EUR144.0 million the previous year. For the financial years 2013 and 2014, freenet is aiming for group EBITDA of EUR355.0 million and EUR360.0 million respectively, and free cash flow of EUR255.0 million and EUR260.0 million.
At 31 December 2012 freenet’s mobile customer base totalled 14.08 million (down from 15.19 million twelve months earlier), of which 5.58 million were pre-paid customers (compared to 7.07 million at end-December 2011), 5.79 million were contract users (up slightly from 5.75 million a year earlier) and the remaining 2.71 million were ‘no-frills’ customers (primarily comprised of mobile contracts completed online in the discount market), up from 2.37 million twelve months previously.