Netia Group has published its consolidated financial results for the last quarter of 2018 and for the full year 2018. In Q4 2018, compared to Q3 2018, the Company recorded an increase in revenues and a decrease in EBITDA. Meanwhile, the operating results, especially those regarding own network services as well as the ARPU level, improved once again, another quarter in a row.
In 2018, the Netia Group recorded revenues of PLN 1.373 billion (-5%). However, the revenues in Q4 were higher than in Q3 by about PLN 1.5 million. 2018. (PLN 342.5 million vs. PLN 340.83 million).
Throughout 2018, the Company generated adjusted (that is: with non-recurring items removed) EBITDA of PLN 363 million (-8%), whereas EBITDA amounted to PLN 356 million, which was 6% lower than in the previous year.
“The financial and operating results – especially on the B2C market – as of the second half of 2018 have clearly shown the positive effects of the project for upgrading access networks to fibre optic standard and introducing marketing changes” said Andrzej Abramczuk, President of the Management Board and CEO of Netia.
“In the medium- and long-term prospect, being a part of the Cyfrowy Polsat Group means new development opportunities for us; most of them are connected with the access to a greater and more flexible financing, the possibility of using a unified mobile access infrastructure, the expansion of the sales network, the access to an entertaining TV content and an additional group of potential customers. Looking at the market challenges, the possibility of building a common and unified environment for the provision of 5G telecommunications services is not without significance” added Andrzej Abramczuk.
Own network and content strengthen B2C
In Q4 2018 Netia generated the revenue of PLN 152 million (-5% in comparison to Q4 2017) in the B2C commercial area. The results of Q4 2018, compared to the Q3 of 2018, recorded a decrease by only PLN 200 thousand, which indicates a stabilisation, supported by strengthening of a positive trend (growth by several percent per year) in the number of broadband and TV services provided within own networks.
At the end of 2018, Netia was providing 1.428 million services (RGU) in the B2C market (excluding Petrotel), which is approximately 5% less than at the end of 2017. It was primarily the result of further decrease in the number of services provided on the basis of third-party networks (WLR, BSA, LLU). In the last quarter, the number of services within third-party networks decreased by 20 thousand (to 679 thousand) and within proprietary networks by 8 thousand (to 749 thousand).
At the end of 2018, the number of landline voice services amounted to 504 thousand (-15 thousand), broadband services amounted to 565 thousand (-3 thousand) and mobile services to 149 thousand (-1 thousand).
In 2018, the number of Internet access services within Netia's own NGA networks increased by 36 thousand (+18%). At the end of 2018, already 52% of services provided to B2C customers were provided within their own networks (increase by 3 percentage points). For broadband Internet access services, it was as many as 66% (increase by 4 percentage points).
The database of TV service users continued to grow steadily. At the end of 2018, Netia was providing 215 thousand TV services, with 210 thousand TV services assigned to the B2C market (increased by 8 thousand in comparison to Q3 2018). Throughout the whole 2018, the database of TV subscribers on the B2C market grew by 24 thousand (+13%). The introduction of, among others, new service packages, including Polsat Sport Premium channels, resulted in a significant increase in ARPU from TV services, which resulted in an increase of average ARPU for B2C from PLN 56 to PLN 57 per month. The average number of services per customer is constantly growing as well – at the end of 2018 it was 1.68x.
ICT supports B2B
Revenues generated by Netia in Q4 2018 in the B2B commercial area amounted to PLN 181 million, which means stabilisation in all four quarters of 2018.
The stable level of revenues applies to all major product categories – including voice services – despite considerable market competition. At the same time, the Company is maintaining an upward trend in sales projects related to advanced ICT products, on which the transformation of this business area of the Netia Group is based.
Total capital expenditure of the Netia Group in 2018 amounted to PLN 300 million (over 7% more than in 2017). In 2018, the Company continued the project for upgrading the network to the fibre optic standard called 21st Century Network. Throughout 2018, investments under this project amounted to PLN 72 million. Investment liabilities not included in the financial statements as on December 31, 2018 amounted to PLN 67 million.
In 2018, operating free cash flows (OpFCF) (with non-recurring items removed) amounted to PLN 66 million (-42%). Net debt at the end of 2018 amounted to PLN 192 million (-32%), which constitutes a leverage of 0.53x of adjusted EBITDA for 2018.