Orange Belgium revenues slide 1.3% in Q4, despite success of Love offerings

Wednesday 7 February 2018 | 09:35 CET | News
Orange Belgium said revenues for the fourth quarter slipped 1.3 percent from the year before to EUR 317.5 million. For the full year however, revenues went up by 0.8 percent, to EUR 1.251 billion.

The adjusted EBITDA went to EUR 61.9 million in the quarter and EUR 302.2 million for the full year, benefitting from a positive one-off of EUR 15.5 million in connection with the December 2016 agreement on the Walloon tax on pylons. Without this effect, adjusted EBITDA growth would have been at negative 1.8 percent for the quarter and plus 0.7 percent for the full year.

Organic cash flow amounted to EUR 65.9 million. The net financial debt amounted to EUR 312.8 million at the end of 2017, implying a net financial debt/reported EBITDA ratio of 1.0x. 

MVNO policy has an impact on expectations for 2018 

Orange Belgium expects total service revenues to grow for the third consecutive year in 2018 and is aiming for an adjusted EBITDA of EUR 280-300 million for the full year. The guidance takes into account the fact that the financial results for 2018 will be strongly influenced by the loss of nearly EUR 30 million worth of MVNO income. It also takes into account the latest adverse gross impact of European roaming regulation on revenues and EBITDA, seen at EUR 26 and EUR 17 million for 2018. This target for adjusted EBITDA highlights the expectation that the retail activities of Orange Belgium will significantly grow. The increase is seen coming from  company’s capacity to generate revenue from its mobile network and because of its sustainable focus on operational efficiency. 

Orange Belgium also expects core investments (total investments without all cable-related investments) to remain fairly stable in 2018, compared to 2017. 

Convergent customer numbers on the up 

With the launch of the Love concept at the start of 2017, the convergent customer base increased to 103,000 customers by the end of 2017. In the fourth quarter, 21,000 Love customers joined. There are now 163,000 active mobile customers who opt for a Love bundle. This is an increase of 34,000 customers in Q4. In 2017, almost 50 percent of all Orange Love customers were new customers for Orange Belgium. 

Postpaid ARPU rises to EUR 30

In Q4, Orange Belgium brought in 28,000 net new postpaid customers, the highest number since 2011. Thanks to the increasing use of 4G data, postpaid ARPU growth also increased in the quarter. Orange Belgium closed 2017 with 2.32 million postpaid customers, an increase of 67.6 thousand customers over the year.

In December 2017, total traffic increased by 43 percent year-on-year. 4G traffic accounted for 88 percent of the total, compared to 80 percent the year earlier. The average mobile data consumption of smartphone users was 1.8 GB in December 2017, against 1.3 GB the year before. This caused a gradual shift to offers with a higher data limit, resulting in postpaid ARPU advancing 3.2 percent year-on-year to EUR 30.

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