Belgacom holds steady in 1Q

Belgacom chief executive, Didier Bellens, says the firm is on track to hit full year EBITDA targets, despite a €14 million drop in the figure year-on-year during the first quarter.
The Belgian incumbent blamed the effects of regulation for the bulk of the fall, which resulted in a one percentage point fall in EBITDA margin to 29.3%. Despite the drop, Belgacom increased net profit from €194 million in 1Q11 to €199 million in the recent quarter, following reductions in its depreciation and amortization, and net finance costs.
Bellens hailed “solid” sales, which saw revenue grow €5 million year-on-year to €1.5 billion in 1Q12.
“Our strategy is proving to be correct,” Bellens says, noting the firm is benefitting from “having invested early and continuously in a high-quality fixed and mobile network.” However, the chief slammed Belgium’s regulatory environment for cable services, which he claims does not promote a “fair, level playing field.”
The telco predicts revenue will decline 1% through 2012, and EBITDA by 5% to 6%.