Cellcom slips to net loss in FY 2018 amid continued competition in mobile sector

18 Mar 2019

Israeli multi-service operator (MSO) Cellcom has published its financial results for the year ended 31 December 2018, revealing a net loss for the period, as revenues and EBITDA also declined. In the twelve-month period under review, Cellcom reported total turnover of ILS3.688 billion (USD984 million), down from ILS3.871 billion a year earlier. Of the total, service revenue accounted for the lion’s share – ILS2.784 billion (FY 2017: ILS2.919 billion) – with equipment revenues totalling ILS904 million (FY17: ILS952 million). Service revenue in the cellular segment, meanwhile, generated ILS1.730 billion of the the company total in the latest fiscal year, representing a year-on-year decline of 10.3%, attributed in part to ‘the ongoing erosion in the price of these services as a result of the competition in the cellular market’. Fixed line service revenues were, however, up against FY 2017, standing at ILS1.215 billion, compared to ILS1.166 billion previously. Cellcom’s adjusted EBITDA was ILS660 million in the year under review, a more than 22% drop from the ILS853 million reported for the previous year, while the company posted a net loss of ILS64 million, compared to a net profit of ILS113 million in 2017.

In operational terms, Cellcom ended 2018 with 2.851 million mobile subscribers on its books, up marginally from 2.817 million a year earlier, though monthly cellular ARPU was notably lower, standing at ILS51.3 in 2018, down from ILS57.1 in 2017. In the fixed line arena, Cellcom reported a total of 269,000 internet infrastructure customers as at end-December 2018, representing y-o-y growth of 21.2%, while pay-TV accesses numbered 219,000 (Dec-17: 170,000).

Israel, Cellcom