Proximus expects to return to growth a year earlier than planned

Belgium-based Proximus predicted it will return to growth a year earlier than expected after the operator--which was formerly known as Belgacom--reported a strong set of results for the second quarter of 2015.

According to group CEO Dominique Leroy, the company has "beaten our own ambition" and expects to achieve its growth objective in 2015.

"I believe that we will end the year 2015 with an underlying core revenue growth of around 2 per cent and a group underlying EBITDA growth of 3 per cent to 5 per cent compared to 2014. As a result Proximus will achieve its growth ambition one year earlier than expected," Leroy said.

In the second quarter of the year, the company reported growth in underlying revenue of 1.5 per cent year-on-year to €1.5 billion ($1.65 billion), while underlying EBITDA increased by 4.3 per cent to €450 million. It noted that the positive result was driven by 2.4 per cent growth in underlying core business revenue, while the BICS international and wholesale division also recorded a strong quarter with growth of 34.9 per cent.

The company sells mobile and fixed services via its two main brands, Proximus and Scarlet. It gained 61,000 postpaid mobile subscribers in the quarter, but lost 42,000 prepaid users, taking the total mobile customer base to over 5.7 million.

Proximus also currently has an edge over rivals Mobistar and BASE Belgium as it is able to sell fixed and mobile service bundles combined with TV packages. In the Q2 period, 14,000 more households or small offices signed up for triple-play or quadruple-play packages, taking the total to over 1.16 million households and accounting for 42 per cent of the customer base.

In its recent second-quarter results, Mobistar CEO Jean Marc Harion noted that his company is at a competitive disadvantage on convergence compared with other market players. The company hopes to be able to change this situation as soon as possible by reselling cable services once the cable industry has been deregulated.

BASE could also present a bigger convergence challenge in future: the mobile operator is being sold by KPN to Belgian cable operator Telenet.

For more:
- see this Proximus release

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