State-owned full-service provider Swisscom has registered a 4.3% year-on-year decline in first quarter net revenue, attributing the decline to competition and price pressure and noting that the decline is in line with expectations. The operator booked net revenue of CHF2.74 billion (USD2.8 billion) in the three months to 31 March 2020, compared to CHF2.86 billion a year earlier. EBITDA, meanwhile dipped by 0.7% y-o-y to CHF1.11 billion. Cost cutting measures and a one-off positive tax effect of CHF19 million helped offset the revenue decline and contributed to a 2.9% increase in net profit to CHF394 million.
Swisscom counted a total of 11.489 million RGUs across its domestic operations, own 1.8% y-o-y, and including 1.582 million fixed telephony lines, 2.053 million broadband access retail lines (2.057 million in Q1 2019), 1.555 million TV subscriptions (up 2.1%) and 6.299 million mobile lines (6.378 million a year earlier). By contrast its Italian division, Fastweb, recorded a 23.5% increase in mobile lines to 1.779 million and a 3.3% uptick in broadband lines, to 2.659 million.
In Switzerland, the operator noted that its has completed its switch to IP technology in the residential and business customer market, and is aiming to complete the decommissioning of the old infrastructure by the end of 2022.
Regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, Swisscom noted that it had seen a surge in demand, but its network capacity is sufficient. Swisscom recorded a 70% increase in the number of mobile voice calls since February 2020, with the average call duration also increasing by 50%. Mobile data usage followed its previous usage pattern, however. In the fixed network, the number of VoIP calls was up 65% due to greater working from home. Similarly, home working and school closures had contributed to a 30% increase in upstream data traffic. Swisscom’s outlook for 2020 remained unchanged, but the group acknowledged that any potential financial impact of the pandemic was impossible to quantify at the moment.