Bezeq's revenues flat in 4Q20, but sees 2.3% decline in full year turnover

26 Mar 2021

Bezeq has reported revenues of ILS8.72 billion (USD2.7 billion) for the year ended 31 December 2020, representing a 2.3% year-on-year decline, although it noted that turnover in the final quarter of the year was broadly flat at ILS2.202 billion. The telco reported that revenues in the fixed line sector totalled ILS4.16 billion in FY20, up from ILS4.07 billion in the previous year, while fourth-quarter revenues in that sector were up 7.1%, at ILS1.06 billion. According to the operator, the increase in fixed line turnover was ‘due to an increase in most revenue items, partially offset by a moderate decrease in revenues from telephony services in 2020’. In the cellular sector, meanwhile, total revenues stood at ILS2.19 billion for the year, down from ILS2.36 billion in FY19, while in 4Q20 revenues fell by 11.5% y-o-y, to ILS533 million. Cellular service revenues in the year under review totalled ILS1.71 billion, representing an annualised decline of 6.9%, while fourth-quarter cellular service revenues were ILS396 million (4Q19: ILS416 million) ‘primarily due to a decrease in roaming revenues as a result of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, partially offset by an increase in revenues from incoming calls’.

Meanwhile, Bezeq’s reported EBITDA for FY20 was ILS3.29 billion, up from ILS2.76 billion, with reported EBITDA in 4Q20 standing at ILS759 million, up from ILS495 million. Net profit in 2020 totalled ILS796 million, comparing favourably to the net loss of ILS1.19 billion the company recorded in 2019, with a net profit of ILS174 million, reported for 4Q20, compared to a net loss of ILS87 million previously – ‘primarily due to the aforementioned changes in loss from impairment of assets, other operating expenses/income and tax expenses’.

In operational terms, at 31 December 2020 Bezeq was serving a total of 1.556 million broadband lines, down from 1.575 million a year earlier, of which 999,000 were retail lines (Dec-19: 983,000), and 557,000 (592,000) were wholesale. Broadband ARPU was reported at ILS99 per month in 2020, up from ILS97 in the previous year. Meanwhile, Bezeq’s mobile subsidiary Pelephone had a subscriber base totalling 2.442 million at the end of the reporting period, up from 2.327 million, the lion’s share of which – 2.004 million, up from 1.992 million – were post-paid users. Mobile ARPU was ILS56 per month in FY20, compared to ILS63 in 2019.