Belgian full-service telecoms operator Proximus has reported ‘strong commercial trends’ and a return to revenue growth in the second quarter of 2021 ended 30 June. Group underlying revenues rose 3% year-on-year to EUR1.370 billion (USD1.627 billion) in the reporting period, while underlying domestic revenue grew 2.4% to EUR1.080 billion, with organic growth of 2.0% excluding the takeover of Mobile Vikings, consolidated as of 1 June 2021. Consumer revenues rose 2.3% y-o-y to EUR666 million, supported by 3.3% growth in convergent revenue in the reporting period, while the Enterprise segment posted a 3.5% rise in revenue to EUR339 million despite ‘continued competitive headwinds’. Group underlying EBITDA totalled EUR459 million, a 3.7% y-o-y drop from EUR477 million, and underlying group expenses rose 6.7% to EUR430 million. Excluding spectrum and football broadcasting rights, Proximus’ accrued CAPEX over the second quarter of 2021 totalled EUR272 million, bringing the total over the first six months of 2021 to EUR497 million, a y-o-y increase of 18.9% in large part driven by its ongoing fibre deployment. Over the second quarter, Proximus’ fibre network passed an additional 89,000 premises to increase its footprint to a total of 621,000 homes and businesses passed at end-June 2021, representing fibre coverage of just over 10%.
Across the group as a whole, Proximus ended the reporting period with 2.158 million broadband subscribers (a 2.4% rise from 1.108 million in 2Q20), 1.702 million TV customers (up 3%) and 2.099 million fixed voice customers (a 9.8% decline). The company reported a wireless subscriber base (excluding M2M) of 5.281 million, compared with 4.833 million twelve months earlier.
The operator also confirmed that its partnership with Eurofiber to jointly build a fibre network in the Wallonia region has been cleared by the European authorities. The newly created joint venture Unifiber will pass at least 500,000 premises with fibre by 2028. With its Fiberklaar partnership with Sweden’s EQT Infrastructure already operation in the Flanders region, Proximus believes it is well on track to realise its target of passing a total of 4.2 million premises nationwide by 2028.