US-based wireless operator Sprint Corp has released its financial and operational figures for the group’s fiscal fourth quarter (ending 31 March 2015), reporting net operating revenues of USD8.3 billion, down 7% year-on-year (y-o-y), attributed to lower mobile service revenues driven by customers moving to rate plans based on device financing options. Consolidated adjusted EBITDA reached USD1.7 billion, falling 5% from twelve months earlier, due in part to lower service revenues. Operating income totalled USD318 million, a decline from USD420 million in the year-ago period, attributed primarily to higher depreciation expense, while net loss of USD224 million was generated in Q4 of fiscal year 2014, against USD151 million in 4Q13, thanks to lower operating revenues.
In operational terms, Sprint achieved total wireless customer net additions of 1.212 million customers quarter-on-quarter and 2.254 million y-o-y to reach a total of 57.141 million connections at 31 March 2015, including 30.074 million retail post-paid, 16.067 million retail pre-paid and 11.000 million ‘wholesale and affiliate’ connections. The figures showed a reversal compared to the net customer losses recorded one year earlier, of 467,000 q-o-q and 2.337 million y-o-y. Pre-paid net wireless additions on the Sprint platform reached 546,000 quarter-on-quarter in fiscal 4Q14, against losses of 364,000 in 4Q13, while year-on-year the pre-paid Sprint platform connection total climbed by 449,000 in the period ending March 2015 (compared to 444,000 y-o-y losses a year earlier); Sprint cited growth in the Boost Mobile brand as the driving force behind the rise. Meanwhile, total wholesale and affiliate net additions reached 514,000 q-o-q and 2.424 million y-o-y, ‘mostly driven by connected devices’.
Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure commented: ‘I am proud of the team for successfully executing the first phase of our strategy to stop the decline in customers. We are now one quarter into the second phase, focusing on attracting more quality customers … and continually improving the network.’ Claure added that as a result, ‘Sprint platform net additions were the highest in nearly three years’ while ‘post-paid churn dropped by 46 basis points sequentially’.