03.05.2017 - 19:05 Uhr

freenet AG confirms guidance for 2017 and outlook for 2018 after strong first quarter 2017

  • Group revenue up by 11.9 per cent to 838.0 million euros in Q1 2017
  • Gross profit increased by 18.0 per cent to 227.0 million euros
  • Group EBITDA rises by 13.1 per cent to 100.9 million euros1
  • Confirmation of guidance for 2017 and outlook for 2018

freenet AG [ISIN DE000A0Z2ZZ5] has today published its interim statement for the results of the first quarter of 2017 and has confirmed guidance for the financial year 2017 and the perspective outlook for the financial year 2018.

In the first quarter of 2017, the company increased Group revenue by 11.9 per cent from 749.2 million euros to 838.0 million euros. The increase is primarily attributable to the revenue of 74.7 million euros2 generated in the TV and Media segment. In the reporting quarter, the Mobile Communications segment contributed 762.8 million euros to the Group revenue and reflects thereby a growth by 35.4 million euros compared to the previous-year quarter, resulting from the increase of 2.1 per cent in customer ownership in conjunction with approximately stable postpaid-ARPU of 21.1 euros in the first quarter of 2017. In addition, the revenue generated by the marketing of digital lifestyle products and services also increased compared with the previous year.

Group EBITDA as amounts to 100.9 million euros in the first quarter of 2017, representing growth of 13.1 per cent compared with the previous year. It is spread over the segments of Mobile Communications (100.1 million euros, previous year: 90.7 million euros1), TV and Media (3.3 million euros, previous year: 1.1 million euros2) and Other/Holding.

The depreciation and amortisation increased to 35.0 million euros in the first quarter of 2017 mainly as a result of the increased inventories of property, plant and equipment and intangible assets in connection with the purchase price allocation of the Media Broadcast Group carried out in the previous year. Due to this, consolidated profit declined by 9.4 million euros to 41.7 million euros compared to the previous year.

On 12 April 2017, on the occasion of a capital market day, freenet AG communicated initial figures concerning the newly developed private customer business of the TV and Media segment. According to this announcement, the number of connected devices for receiving the new digital-terrestrial broadcasting standard DVB-T2 HD, which has been gradually replacing the previous system throughout the country since 29 March 2017, was estimated to be 1.2 to 1.5 million at the end of the first quarter of 2017. Although the obligation for customers to pay for the new DVB-T2 product freenet TV only commences on 1 July 2017, freenet AG reported approximately 160,000 paying freenet TV users on 31 March 2017. The company expects that there will be a further increase in the number of freenet TV customers to more than 500,000 by the end of the first half of 2017. In parallel with its digital-terrestrial service freenet TV, freenet AG has since the end of September 2016 been offering Internet-based TV (IPTV) under the brand waipu.tv. At the end of the first quarter of 2017, freenet AG had approximately 150,000 registered waipu.tv users, including more than 23,000 paying waipu.tv users.

freenet AG has confirmed the guidance for 2017 which was communicated on the occasion of the Capital Market Day, and has also confirmed the perspective outlook for the financial year 2018. freenet AG is forecasting slightly higher Group revenue for both financial years, compared with the previous year in each case. In the opinion of the Executive Board, Group EBITDA in the financial year 2017 will increase to slightly more than 410 million euros³, and will achieve further growth in 2018 compared with the previous year. The company also expects to see group-wide free cash flow4 of approximately 310 million euros5 for the whole of 2017. In the financial year 2018, the Executive Board expects that free cash flow will again increase slightly compared with the previous year.

1) Since 24 March 2016, Sunrise Communications Group AG has been included as an associated company in the consolidated financial statements of freenet AG.
2) The Media Broadcast Group was initially consolidated on 18 March 2016.
3) The expected contribution to Group EBITDA resulting from the holding in Sunrise Communications Group AG is not included in the guidance.
4) Free cash flow is defined as the cash flow from operating activities less the investments in property, plant and equipment and intangible assets plus inflows from disposals of intangible assets and property, plant and equipment.
5) Dividend payments of Sunrise Communications Group AG are not included in the guidance.


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