Proximus closes a successful year, achieving its growth ambition one year ahead of plan

26/02/2016

Proximus closes a successful year, achieving its growth ambition one year ahead of plan

26/02/2016

  • Strong commercial performance in 2015 improving Proximus’ market position and driving solid financial results.
  • 2015 full-year guidance achieved. Full-year Core underlying revenue up 2.1% and Group underlying EBITDA grew 4.9% vs. 2014.
  • Full-year Free Cash Flow of EUR 408 million, impacted by a litigation settlement paid in Q4.
  • Dividend of EUR 1.50 gross per share over the results of 2015.
  • Outlook for 2016: slight growth of Core underlying revenue and Group underlying EBITDA, Capex level expected to be around EUR 950 million.

In 2015 Proximus grew market shares through strong commercial performance

In 2015, Proximus continued to grow its customer base for the two main brands Proximus and Scarlet, achieving strong net adds. National market shares end-2015 reached 47.1% for Mobile Postpaid (+0.2 p.p.), 35.1% for TV (+2.2 p.p.), and 46.1% for Fixed Internet (+1.6 p.p.).

  • Total Mobile customer base  end-2015 grew to 6,027,0001 (+5.8% yoy), with a solid inflow of +328,000 Mobile cards in 2015 (+167,000 Mobile Postpaid Voice, +319,000 Machine-to-Machine & Internet Everywhere and -157,000 Mobile Prepaid cards).
  • TV subscriptions totaled 1,759,0002 (+ 10.5% yoy) at year-end, with +167,000 new subscriptions added in 2015. 
  • Total Broadband customer base end-2015 grew to 1,856,000 (+6.6% yoy), with + 115,000 Fixed Internet lines in 2015.
  • Fixed Voice lines totaled 2,781,000 lines at year-end (-1.8% yoy), i.e. - 50,000 lines in 2015.
  • 3- & 4-Play households and small offices totaled 1,191,000 at the end of 2015 (+6.2% yoy), representing 43% of the total customer base, +3 p.p. more than in 2014.

Full-year financials in line with upwards revised 2015 guidance

In 2015, the Proximus Group posted an underlying revenue of EUR 5,994 million, up 2.2% from the prior year. The positive evolution of the Group underlying revenue resulted from both Proximus’ core3 operations (+2.1%) and from BICS (+2.5%).

The full-year 2015 Group underlying EBITDA totaled EUR 1,733 million, up 4.9% versus 2014.

Over the year 2015, the Proximus Group’s total Capex was EUR 926 million, excluding 75 million capex from the renewal of the 900 Mhz/1800Mhz spectrum.  

The Proximus Group posted a full-year 2015 Free Cash flow of EUR 408 million, including the payment of the mobile on-net litigation settlement.

Solid progress in 2015 on the execution of the Fit for Growth strategy, further transforming the company for the future

Aiming to offer an excellent customer experience, Proximus continued to make significant investments in its Fixed and Mobile networks, convergent Telco & ICT solutions, simplification and content enrichment.

Proximus continues to deliver its customers premium quality, combining an ubiquitous footprint with a great mobile surfing experience. With the further boost of 4G deployment, 4G outdoor coverage was at 98.8% and indoor coverage rapidly increased to 93.4% by end-2015. Having started the 4G+ network roll-out in Q4, we now reach 30% of the population with 4G+ coverage, allowing customers with a 4G+ enabled device to obtain download speeds of up to 225 Mbps. The new Mobile Coverage Extender (Pro) offers customers the best mobile in-house experience and thanks to the approximately 1.3 million Smart Wi-Fi hotspots, customers can enjoy a seamless mobile experience.

To improve customers’ surfing and TV experience, Proximus continued to invest in its Fixed network, more specifically in Vectoring, allowing 1 in 3 customers to reach speeds of 100 Mbps. In addition, we moved more than 98,000 customers from ADSL to VDSL at no extra cost and thus continued with the simplification of our networks, replacing the legacy technologies with future-proof solutions.

Proximus rolled out dedicated fiber (Fiber to the Business) to several enterprises and 80% of the industrial zonings in Belgium, offering the customers in question secure and reliable high-speed solutions.

Proximus further reinforced its ICT position and continued to innovate. To enable the Internet of Things, Proximus was the first operator in Belgium to start deploying the LoRaTM network. On top of the LoRa connectivity, Proximus is building a whole ecosystem allowing the end-to-end management of IoT services like smart cities, smart mobility and industry 4.0.

In 2015, Proximus reinvented TV thanks to the launch of the new user-friendly Proximus TV interface and app, improving consumer’s experience to watch TV on any screen, anywhere, anytime. Proximus also further enriched its entertainment offer with easy access to Netflix, an expanded sports offering and a new national agreement for Wanagogo, Studio 100's digital offering for children.

Proximus continued to focus strongly on simplification with a view to becoming a leaner, more flexible and cost efficient company. In 2015, we continued with the outphasing of the legacy telephony-switching network and technical buildings, while transforming our internal IT systems and simplifying our product portfolio.


Dominique Leroy, CEO of Proximus
Dominique Leroy, CEO de Proximus

With a solid fourth quarter we have closed a successful year in which we achieved our growth ambition one year ahead of plan. We transformed Proximus into a growing company, thanks to our customer focus and the strong commitment of our employees. The many initiatives taken for the benefit of our customers in terms of improving our networks, simplifying our operations, enhancing the customer experience and enriching our products and solutions, resulted in a continued solid growth of our customer base in 2015.  By adding another 167,000 Voice postpaid cards, 167,000 TV subscriptions and 115,000 Fixed Internet customers, we were able to close 2015 with an encouraging improvement in our market position.
Through a value-based approach we managed to grow the 2015 Direct Margin for all segments. This, combined with our focus on cost efficiencies, led to a strong Group underlying EBITDA of EUR 1,733 million, growing 4.9% compared to last year.
For 2016, we aim for continued sustainable revenue and EBITDA growth through the execution of our Fit-for-Growth strategy.  We expect to end the year 2016 with slightly growing Core underlying revenue and Group EBITDA, in spite of BICS’ high comparable base, the Roam-Like-At-Home regulation and a new, tougher competitive landscape in Belgium. 
To sustain long-term growth, we decided to raise investments in the fixed network, focusing especially on Fiber to the Business.  We therefore anticipate the 2016 capex level to be around EUR 950 million. In line with our previously announced 2014 to 2016 commitment, we expect to return a total gross dividend per share of €1.50 over the year 2016. 


1. Including Voice and Data Mobile cards sold through CBU, as well as M2M cards in EBU and Mobile cards from the Tango, MVNO and TEC&W segment.
2. Corresponds to the total number of set-top boxes. 
3. Core refers to Proximus Group excluding BICS



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