Germany’s freenet Group has announced its preliminary results for the twelve months ended 31 December 2014, reporting group revenue of EUR3.041 billion (USD3.44 billion), a decrease of 4.8% from EUR3.193 billion in the year-ago period, mainly due to reduced activity from the low-margin hardware sales business. The mobile communications segment contributed turnover of EUR2.989 billion in 2014, compared to EUR3.160 billion the previous year. Group EBITDA grew by 2.3% year-on-year from EUR357.4 million to EUR365.6 million, exceeding its forecast for the year of EUR365.0 million, while group net income rose by around 3.9% to EUR248.2 million.
At 31 December 2014 freenet’s mobile customer base totalled 12.73 million (down from 13.29 million twelve months earlier), of which 3.81 million were pre-paid customers, compared to 4.53 million at end-2013, mainly due to the ongoing deregistration of inactive SIM cards by network operators. Around 6.01 million were contract users (up by 150,000) and the remaining 2.91 million were ‘no-frills’ customers (primarily comprised of mobile contracts completed online in the discount market), up by around 12,000 from twelve months earlier.
Commenting on the results, freenet CEO Christoph Vilanek said: ‘The year’s results show that we are on a sustainable, successful course. We regard, and will continue to regard, direct customer contact at the point of sale and on our own online channels as the key success factor for cross- and upselling and therefore for the expansion of the ever more important theme of digital lifestyle.’ freenet said it is aiming for Group EBITDA of approximately EUR370 million for 2015 and around EUR375 million for 2016.