08.05.2019 - 18:00 Uhr

freenet AG records stable subscriber figures and positive performance of its ITPV business in Q1 2019

  • Steady subscriber base1 with more than 8 million customers keeps revenue at previous year’s level
  • Free cash flow above expectations at 45.3 million euros
  • Sales cooperation between waipu.tv and Telefónica Deutschland (TEFD) launched in May 2019

freenet AG today announced its results for the first quarter of 2019.

At 689.9 million euros, revenue in the first quarter of 2019 was in line with the prior-year quarter. EBITDA amounted to 107.9 million euros during the reporting period, up 11.1 million euros year-on-year. Free cash flow rose by 7.0 million euros year-on-year to 45.3 million euros, primarily as a result of lower investments made by Media Broadcast. The subscriber base grew by 4.1 per cent year-on-year to 8.168 million customers and remained steady compared to the end of 2018.

The saturated German mobile communications market remained highly competitive and promotion-driven in the first quarter of 2019. The number of strategically important postpaid customers rose by 92,000 year-on-year to 6.892 million. This latest development reflects the earnings-driven and quality-related strategy that has been actively pursued by the company. The effectiveness of this strategy can also be seen in revenue from postpaid services and postpaid-ARPU, which both remained stable.

The increasingly earnings-driven focus of the customer portfolio is also reflected in the development of EBITDA, which rose by 6.2 million euros to 96.5 million euros. Another lasting effect of the improvement in customer quality is evident from the comparatively low rate of bad debt losses.

In the TV and Media segment, waipu.tv continued to grow in the first quarter of 2019. Around 1.5 million customers registered for the service by the end of March 2019, 286,300 customers use one of the subscription models on offer. This corresponds to a year-on-year rise in subscribers of around 153,300 customers and an increase of around 34,600 subscribers compared to the end of 2018. waipu.tv is thus on track to reach its target of 350,000 subscribers by the end of the year. The recently launched sales cooperation with Telefónica Germany under the name "o2 TV powered by waipu.tv" will further boost the IPTV business.

As expected, freenet TV’s performance has been stable: By the end of March 2019 there were 1.020 million freenet TV subscribers (RGU), a figure that was almost unchanged from the end of 2018. The number of revenue-generating freenet TV customers rose by around 75,000 year-on-year.

Overall, the freenet Group continues to anticipate stable revenue, EBITDA of between 420 and 440 million euros and free cash flow of between 240 and 260 million euros for the full year. 

The interim statement for the quarter ended 31 March 2019 is available in the Investor Relations section.

1 Sum total of postpaid customers, freenet TV subscribers (RGU) and waipu.tv subscribers.

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