Proximus CEO Leroy pleased with operator's progress in Q3

Proximus CEO Dominique Leroy said the operator made good progress in the third quarter

Belgian operator Proximus grew its group share of net income by €91 million ($99.2 million) year-on-year during the third quarter, despite a 1.4 per cent annual decline in total revenues.

Net income increased from €69 million in the third quarter of 2015 to €160 million in the recent period and EBITDA grew by 282 per cent year-on-year to €441 million.

Total revenue fell to €1.4 billion following declines in domestic mobile services revenues (down 1.8 per cent year-on-year to €331 million) and lower sales in some areas of Proximus’ Belgian fixed line business -- though that division generated an overall increase of 1.2 per cent year-on-year to €624 million.

In its earnings statement, Proximus noted that domestic sales grew 1.5 per cent year-on-year to €1.1 billion. However, it added that the effects of EU roaming rate regulations mitigated that domestic growth, as evidenced by the decline in mobile service revenues during the quarter.

On the flip side, mobile service revenues in the third quarter benefitted from higher device sales following consumer promotions, Proximus stated.

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Proximus Group CEO Dominique Leroy said the operator “maintained a good commercial performance” during the third quarter, explaining that back to school promotions at the company’s consumer business unit and strong results at its enterprise division enabled Proximus to deliver “a solid mobile momentum”.

The CEO added that Proximus’ “efforts to transform our company and reduce our costs are being translated into a strong domestic underlying EBITDA growth of 5.5 per cent, in spite of the lowered roaming rates.” Those factors left Leroy “confident about raising our full-year 2016 outlook for the group underlying EBITDA,” she said.

Proximus now expects underlying group EBITDA growth of between 3 per cent and 4 per cent for the full year.

In an emailed statement, analysts at Jefferies International noted that the operator’s renewed prediction is above consensus estimates of 2 per cent annual growth in EBITDA. The analysts also noted that consensus estimates for full year domestic revenue growth stands at 0.3 per cent.