Israel’s Partner Communications has published its financial results for the quarter ended 30 September 2020, with the provider swinging to a loss as the COVID-19 pandemic impacted its revenue. For the three month period under review the operator generated a total turnover of ILS800 million (USD232 million), down 3% from the ILS825 million recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2019. Meanwhile, with overall service revenues declining by 4% on an annualised basis, to ILS631 million, it reported that services revenue in the mobile sector had tumbled by 11% y-o-y, to ILS415 million, ‘mainly the result of the negative impact of the coronavirus crisis on roaming service revenues and the continued price erosion of cellular services due to the continued competitive market conditions, which were partially offset by an increase in interconnect revenues’. By comparison, service revenues in the fixed sector were actually up 8% in Q3 2020, standing at ILS252 million.
Partner reported an adjusted EBITDA of ILS204 million for 3Q20, representing a 9% drop from the same period a year earlier, while operating profit was down by 23%, falling to ILS20 million. Meanwhile, the company recorded a net loss of ILS5 million, compared to a net profit of ILS7 million in Q3 2019.
In operational terms, as at 30 September 2020 Partner was serving a mobile subscriber base of 2.76 million, up more than 4% from the 2.65 million customers it had on its books a year earlier. Monthly ARPU was notably lower, however, falling from ILS59 in 3Q19 to ILS51 in the most recent reporting period. Quarterly churn improved though, standing at 7.3% in 3Q20, compared to 7.7% a year earlier.
Commenting on the results, Isaac Benbenisti, Partner Communications’ CEO, said: ‘Despite the effects of the coronavirus crisis, Partner’s results exhibit stability and resilience in the third quarter due to the consistent growth in the fixed line segment, which contributes to a revenue mix that establishes long-term financial strength.’