Israel’s Bezeq has posted its first annual increase in revenue since 2016, with the company reporting a total turnover of ILS8.821 billion (USD2.73 billion) for the twelve months ended 31 December 2021, up 1.1% from ILS8.723 billion in FY20.
Bezeq’s fixed line revenues were up 0.6% at ILS4.182 billion, with the operator saying the moderate annual uptick was ‘due to the rapid increase in revenues from transmission and data communications and cloud and digital services, and in spite of the continued decrease in telephony revenues’. Meanwhile, turnover at Bezeq’s cellular subsidiary Pelephone totalled ILS2.289 billion in FY21, up 4.7% from the ILS2.186 billion recorded in FY20. According to the company, the increase was attributable to the ‘the partial recovery from COVID, a partial return of flights abroad and roaming service revenues as well as growth in the number of post-paid subscribers, including subscribers with 5G plans’.
With regards to other key financial indicators, Bezeq’s reported EBITDA was ILS3.76 billion in FY21, up 14.2% y-o-y, while adjusted EBITDA increased by 1.4%, to ILS3.71 billion. Reported net profit stood at ILS1.18 billion (up 48.6%), though adjusted net profit increased by only 0.9% on an annualised basis, to ILS1.15 billion in FY21. CAPEX stood at ILS1.69 billion in 2021, up 12.8% from the previous year.
Looking ahead, Bezeq has said it expects adjusted EBITDA of between ILS3.6 billion and ILS3.7 billion in FY22, while adjusted net profit is forecast to be between ILS1.0 billion and ILS1.1 billion, with CAPEX expected to be ILS1.7 billion-ILS1.8 billion.
In operational highlights, Bezeq reported that Pelephone’s mobile subscription total had increased to 2.576 million as of 31 December 2021, up from 2.42 million a year earlier, with the company notably confirming that by that date it had ‘over 590,000 subscribers already on 5G plans’. In the fixed broadband sector, meanwhile, Bezeq reported a total of 1.524 million ‘broadband internet lines’ as of end-2021, down from 1.556 million a year earlier, of which the lion’s share – 1.023 million, up from 999,000 – were retail subscriptions. Offering an update on its deployment of fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) technology, Bezeq revealed that 1.17 million households are now passed by its network, and it confirmed 120,000 subscriptions were being served via that technology. Looking ahead, the operator has said it anticipates FTTP coverage to expand to cover 1.4 million premises by end-2022 and 2.1 million by 2025. Fixed voice subscriptions continued to decline, however, falling to 1.583 million as of 31 December 2021, from 1.602 million at the end of 2020.