State-owned full-service provider Swisscom has registered consolidated net revenues of CHF2.86 billion (USD2.81 billion) for the first three months of 2019, a 0.9% decline year-on-year that the provider attributed to ‘persistent price pressure’ in several segments and the downward trend in fixed telephony connections. Swisscom’s core Swiss business continued to see revenue decline, falling 1.9% y-o-y to CHF2.16 billion, whilst its Italian Fastweb division booked growth of 1.2%, to CHF581 million. EBITDA for the period grew by 5.8% from CHF1.06 billion to CHF1.12 billion, although Swisscom acknowledged that the improvement was due in part to a change in accounting practices, with growth on an adjusted like-for-like basis equating to around 1.4%. Net profit for the quarter was CHF383 million, up 1.1% from CHF379 in Q1 2018.
Group-wide CAPEX totalled CHF518 million (up 3.4% y-o-y) for the period, with Swisscom noting that its fixed and mobile network development programmes are ongoing. At the end of March, its ‘ultra-fast’ fixed broadband network connected 66% of households nationwide with download speeds of more than 80Mbps, whilst 37% of homes and offices can access downlink rates of over 200Mbps. In the mobile segment, its LTE network covered 99% of the population nationwide: 95% of the Swiss population could access 4G speeds of up to 300Mbps, 72% up to 500Mbps, and 27% up to 700Mbps.
In terms of subscriptions, the operator counted a total of 6.378 million mobile lines in Switzerland, down 1.1% from 6.451 million a year earlier, but reflecting a 134,000 drop in pre-paid lines and a net increase in post-paid lines of 61,000. Fixed broadband connections faired slightly better, improving by 0.2% to 2.030 million subscriptions, whilst Swisscom TV accounts increased by 2.1% to 1.523 million, aided by greater take-up of Swisscom’s ‘inOne’ bundled offering.