Belgacom ups 2010 forecasts

Belgian telco Belgacom has raised its full-year revenue forecasts on the back of an 8% rise in 2Q profits and a 10.3% hike in 1H revenues.
A strong performance from the firm’s international operations offset declines across all other business units to boost net profit from €188 million in 2Q09 to €203 million in 2Q10.
First-half revenues of €3.3 billion were boosted by Belgacom’s takeover of the BICS business it previously operated in conjunction with MTN and Swisscom, and by a cost-reduction scheme.
The firm now expects revenue growth of between 9% and 10% in 2010, compared to previous guidance of an 8% to 9% increase, but has maintained its EBITDA forecast at 30% for the year after reporting an EBITDA margin of 30.2% during 2Q.
CEO Didier Bellens was satisfied with the firm’s performance in 2Q – traditionally a weak period - noting that the telco’s convergence strategy had paid off in terms of increasing its subscriber base, and that customers had responded well to clearer price plans introduced during the period.
Mobile data revenues grew 7.9% to €159 million in 1H, driven solely by SMS, which grew 10.6% to €123 million year-on-year.
However, lower termination rates resulted in a 5.7% drop in mobile voice revenues to €329 million, with fixed voice income down 9.6% to €258 million.