Tele2 Netherlands adds 57,000 mobile subs in Q3, but sales still down 5.4%

Thursday 19 October 2017 | 09:25 CET | News

Tele2 Netherlands added 57,000 new mobile customers in the third quarter, taking its total base to 1.17 million, up 18 percent from a year earlier. At the same time, its revenues fell 5.4 percent year-on-year to EUR 146 million, and EBITDA improved to EUR 10.6 million from a loss of EUR 0.2 million a year earlier. The company expects EBITDA to remain positive in Q4, compared to a loss of EUR 2.4 million a year ago. 

The fall in revenue was led by fixed telephony, down 22 percent due to the shrinking customer base, and mobile revenues fell 1.4 percent, led by a 16.4 percent fall in handset sales. Only mobile service revenue showed growth, up 27 percent to EUR 55.6 million. ARPU rose slightly on an annual basis to EUR 17.20 but was down versus EUR 18.04 in Q2. 

Tele2 said a growing share of traffic was running over its own mobile network, at 93 percent of data and 54 percent of voice. It reached a total 557,000 customers using VoLTE, helping reduce its reliance on the roaming agreement with T-Mobile. 

Citing data from GfK, Tele2 said it took a strong share of new postpaid customers in Q3, accounting for 18 percent of the Sim-only market and 30 percent of new postpaid sales with a handset. 

The mobile business remained in the red, although the EBITDA loss narrowed to EUR 5.3 million from EUR 18.7 million a year ago and EUR 9.6 million in Q2. Mobile capex fell to EUR 11.2 million from EUR 17.6 million in the same quarter of 2016.

Free cash flow, measured as the difference between EBITDA and capex, was a negative EUR 6.1 million. This is the smallest loss since the company started building its own mobile network. For the mobile segment alone, free cash flow was a negative EUR 16.5 million and reached a cumulative EUR 593 million loss since Q2 2013.

In the fixed market, Tele2 lost 3,000 telephony customers and 6,000 broadband subscribers, for totals of respectively 35,000 and 332,000. Based on revenue-generating units, the total number of services sold rose by 48,000 in the quarter to 1.537 million. 

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