Belgacom Group has reported a 1.7% year-on-year decline in turnover to EUR1.583 billion (USD2.07 billion), noting that, excluding regulatory effects, revenues had mainly been impacted by the effect of re-pricing its mobile services. Offsetting the re-pricing, Belgacom highlighted solid revenues from fixed line products and a limited revenue growth from BICS, its international carrier services unit. EBITDA in the second quarter of 2013 totalled EUR430 million, down 1.9% against the same period a year earlier, while net income for the period stood at EUR155 million. Capital expenditures in 2Q 2013 totalled EUR177 million, up marginally from the EUR174 million recorded in the same quarter a year earlier; the increase, Belgacom said, was primarily driven by ‘the implementation of a Network Simplification and company-wide IT change plan’.
In operational terms, Belgacom said that had built on the turnaround accomplished in the first quarter of this year, claiming that a growth in mobile subscribers was the result of ‘its simplified and attractive mobile pricing offer, backed by tactical handset subsidies and increased marketing campaigns’. In the quarter under review, Belgacom said it had seen net additions of 93,000 post-paid subscribers in the residential market, though pre-paid connections continued to decline, falling by 82,000 in the quarter. As at end-June 2013 the company’s total residential mobile subscriber base stood at 3.572 million, down from 3.811 million a year earlier, but up from 3.561 million at end-March 2013. Business mobile subscriptions meanwhile numbered 1.549 million at the end of June 2013, up from 1.449 million a year earlier. Fixed broadband connections (residential and business combined) reached 1.652 million, up from 1.614 million at end-June 2012.
Commenting on the results, Didier Bellens, Belgacom’s CEO, said: ‘I’m happy to announce that Belgacom’s approach to dealing with the mobile market disruption since October 2012 has so far delivered successful results. Building on the stabilised churn levels from the first quarter, we focussed entirely on mobile customer acquisition in the second quarter. Supported by our new attractive and simplified mobile portfolio launched on 1 April 2013, increased marketing campaigns and tactical handset subsidies, we regained ground and turned our mobile net adds back to positive.’