Belgian full-service telecoms operator Proximus has reported a 2.7% increase in group underlying revenues to EUR1.404 billion (USD1.477 billion) for the first quarter of 2022, driven by growth for its domestic division (up 1.2% to EUR1.097 billion), international wholesale arm BICS (4.5% higher at EUR245 million) and digital identity provider TeleSign (up 30.9% at EUR100 million). Group underlying EBITDA for the period under review totalled EUR448 million, up by 0.4% on the previous year, while the EBITDA margin stood at 31.9% (1Q21: 32.6%). Group capex (excluding spectrum and football rights) totalled EUR270 million in the first quarter, compared with EUR225 million in the corresponding period of 2021, and was driven in large part by continued investment in fibre-optic network deployment, which represented 33% of total capex. Proximus’ fibre network passed an additional 95,000 homes and businesses in the three months, bringing the total to 909,000 at end-March – equivalent to national fibre coverage of 15%.
Across the group as a whole, Proximus ended the reporting period with 2.193 million fixed broadband subscriptions (a 2.1% rise from 2.148 million in 1Q21), 1.732 million TV subscriptions (up 2.5%) and 1.951 million fixed voice subscriptions (9.2% lower). The company’s mobile subscription base (excluding M2M) stood at 5.372 million at end-March 2022 compared with 4.9 million twelve months earlier, with post-paid accounts growing 9% y-o-y to 4.689 million and pre-paid subscriptions up 11.5% to 664,000.
Proximus forecasts 2022 underlying group EBITDA will be around 1% lower than 2021’s EUR1.772 billion, while group capex for the year is expected to rise from EUR1.203 billion to approximately EUR1.3 billion in line with the company’s accelerated fibre deployment strategy.