T-Mobile NL revenues fall 1.5%, despite 66,000 postpaid, 4,000 broadband additions in Q3

Thursday 9 November 2017 | 11:03 CET | News

T-Mobile Netherlands has announced its results for the third quarter, saying it added 66,000 postpaid and 4,000 broadband customers in the period. About 20,000 (net) prepaid customers were lost. Postpaid ARPU decreased to EUR 22 (-15%) and prepaid ARPU to EUR 3 (-25%). Overall, revenue declined by 1.5 percent year-on-year to EUR 327 million. Meanwhile, EBITDA increased by 7.7 percent, pushing the margin up by 2.6 points to 30.0 percent year-on-year, but well below the 34.5 percent recorded in the previous quarter.

Capex amounted to EUR 48 million, the company’s highest level since the first quarter of 2014, excluding spectrum costs in Q1 2016. Cash contribution (free cash flow=EBITDA-capex) therefore decreased to EUR 50 million.

Mobile services sales -5.2%

In the business market, T-Mobile NL revenues reached EUR 59 million. T-Mobile Business reported Fugro and Zorg van de Zaak as new customers. Revenues at Consumer went to EUR 210 million (-9.5%).

Mobile sales declined by 8.4 percent to EU 304 million, partly due to regulation (roam-like-at-home and new Wtf credit rules). Fixed revenues, which were not last year included in the figures, amounted to EUR 23 million in Q3, higher by EUR 1 million quarter-on-quarter. Mobile services revenue came out at EUR 220 million (-5.2%).

Unlimited 'hugely popular'

CEO Soren Abildgaard told Telecompaper he was pleased with the company’s performance. The CEO noted that T-Mobile NL has been leading the market for five quarters in terms of postpaid net additions, with profitability going higher year-on-year, with positive effects on margins. Customer satisfaction has also risen, as can be seen from the reported TRI*M score (a measure of customer loyality), which advanced to 73 against 66 the year earlier.

Abildgaard said the company’s  unlimited offer (EUR 35 per month for unlimited minutes, SMS and data) was “hugely popular,’ though he did not give any figures. The service puts the necessary pressure on the network, with capacity doubling over the past year. The deployment of TD-LTE technology in the 2.6 GHz band has since grown to 1,100 set points. Usage per customer is well above that of the average subscriber in the Netherlands, and is even stronger for unlimited customers, the CEO said.

The use of call minutes per customer per month grew to a record 192 minutes. For postpaid customers, the figure went to 228 minutes, just missing record levels. T-Mobile NL attributed 61 percent of ARPU (64% last year) to non-voice, meaning data and SMS. 

Mobile stands at +4.7% 

The operator showed a certain reticence tegarding its fixed line market. KPN wholesale prices are considered to be high, causing a margin squeeze. Asked about opportunities around a single-play broadband service, Abildgaard declined to comment. T-Mobile NL noted a certain amount of decoupling, but did not indicate if (and when) this could lead to a specific broadband-only campaign.

Due to a quarterly increase of 66,000 in postpaid and a quarterly decrease of 20,000 in prepaid clients, net additions came out at 46,000. T-Mobile NL now has 3,876 million mobile customers (+ 4.7% year-on-year), of which 3,178 million are postpaid (82%).

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