Strong commercial and financial results despite COVID-19 crisis; 2020 guidance achieved
Embargo until 5 February 2021 at 7:00 am
Regulated information – Inside information
Financial information for the fourth quarter and full year 2020
Strong commercial and financial results despite COVID-19 crisis
2020 guidance achieved
- Mobile postpaid customer base +2.4% yoy / Cable customer base +26.3% yoy
- Q4 Revenues -7.2% yoy / Q4 Retail service revenues +3.0% yoy
- Q4 EBITDAaL+7.9% yoy
- Proposed stable dividend at €0.50 per share
|Q4 Operational Highlights|
|Orange Belgium: key operating figures|
|Q4 2019||Q4 2020||change|
|Mobile postpaid customer base (in ‘000)||2,579||2,641||2.4%|
|Net adds (in ‘000)||31||26||-16.4%|
|Mobile only postpaid ARPO (€ per month)||20.4||19.8||-3.1%|
|Cable customer base (in ‘000)||258||326||26.3%|
|Net adds (in ‘000)||25||22||-14.9%|
|B2C convergent ARPO (€ per month)||76.7||73.6||-4.0%|
|Convergent mobile customer as % mobile contract customer base||15.9%||20.3%||435 bp|
|Q4 Financial Highlights|
Orange Belgium Group: key financial figures
|in €m||Q4 2019||Q4 2019||Q4 2020||change||change||FY 2019||FY 2019||FY 2020||change||change|
|Retail service revenues||222.8||222.8||229.5||3.0%||3.0%||857.3||878.7||905.9||3.1%||5.7%|
|margin as % of revenues||21.5%||21.5%||25.1%||350 bp||350 bp||22.4%||21.9%||24.6%||266 bp||222 bp|
|Operating cash flow2||18.6||18.6||15.0||-19.0%||-19.0%||120.0||119.0||145.8||22.5%||21.5%|
|Net financial debt||234.3||144.9||234.3||144.9|
- Comparable base includes Upsize N.V. 2019 before acquisition
- Operating cash flow defined as EBITDAaL – eCapex
Xavier Pichon, Chief Executive Officer, commented:
2020 has been a challenging year.
The world has been confronted with an unprecedented crisis impacting people’s every-day life, as well as forcing companies to completely review their way of doing business. Over the year Orange Belgium has been in the forefront, playing an active role by helping society to deal with this crisis. We have always put the safety and health of our customers, team members and suppliers first. We managed to upgrade our network in an extremely short timeframe to cope with the increased demand for capacity which arose with the different lockdowns.
Notwithstanding these headwinds, 2020 has also been an important year, thus building the future. We created MWingz, the joint venture with Proximus, which will start implementing our mobile radio access network sharing with Nokia, enabling better network coverage, faster roll-out of the 5G network, and a structural reduction in costs. We also continued to stimulate the market by introducing our GO portfolio, being the first operator in the country to provide a mobile family offer. This has proven successful and we intend to continue migrating our customers to this new portfolio. Throughout the crisis Orange Belgium has shown strong resilience. Despite all the challenges we faced, we were able to provide our customers with the services they expected and delivered excellent commercial results, and the consequential financial outcome.
Arnaud Castille, Chief Financial Officer, stated:
Despite the challenges we were faced with during 2020, we were able to increase our retail service revenues over the year, which are the foundations of our business. In addition, through our Bold Inside transformation programme we were able to reduce our costs over the year, which will also impact the following years. We continue to simplify our processes and our offers, which will be beneficial both to our customers and cost control.
Resuming commercial activities after the lockdown enabled us to achieve our ambitions from a commercial and financial perspective. In line with our guidance, revenues over the year have decreased slightly, but this is mainly due to the decrease in low- to zero-margin activities, such as SMS interconnection revenues and handset sales. The (high-margin) retail revenues have increased more than 3% on a comparable basis.
Our results were in line with the guidance we had foreseen for 2020. Our EBITDAaL is within the mid-range of our guidance at €323.5m up 8.1%, which is a combination of increased retail service revenue and cost efficiency, thanks to our Bold Inside transformation programme. We expected a slight decrease in revenues and eCapex, which resulted in a 3.5% decrease in revenues and 1.4% reduction in eCapex.
The Board of Directors will propose a stable dividend of €0.50 per share for the 2020 financial year at the Annual General Meeting.
Orange Belgium expects low single-digit revenue growth in 2021. The Company targets EBITDAaL of between €320m and €340m. Total eCapex in 2021 is expected to be between €200m and €220m.
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