Strong EBITDAaL growth of 10.7% in the last quarter of 2021 due to solid growth in retail service revenues and efficient cost management

Press releaseEmbargo until 11 February 2022 at 7:00 am Regulated information – Inside information

Financial information for the fourth quarter and full year 2021

Strong EBITDAaL growth of 10.7% in the last quarter of 2021 due to solid growth in retail service revenues and efficient cost management

  • Mobile postpaid customer base +3.9% yoy
  • Cable customer base +20.8% yoy
  • Q4 Revenues +5.3% yoy
Q4 Operational Highlights
  • Go portfolio continued to be successful, supported by the launch of Go Extreme. During the quarter, 24k new mobile postpaid customers, reaching 2.7m subscribers (+3.9% yoy).
  • Cable net adds totalled 12k new customers. The quarter was characterised by aggressive campaigns and gifts for end-of-year period from competition.
  • B2C convergent ARPO decreased by 1.3% yoy to €72.7, due to the growing Love Duo customer base with a lower price point, lower set-up fees, as well as discounts on mobile tariff plans in convergence.
  • Mobile only postpaid ARPO increased by 0.6% yoy to €19.9, mainly due to increased out-of-bundle from higher roaming traffic.
Orange Belgium: key operating figures      
  Q4 2020 Q4 2021 change
Mobile postpaid customer base (in ‘000) 2 641 2 743 3.9%
Net adds (in ‘000) 26 24 -4.2%
Mobile only postpaid ARPO (€ per month) 19.8 19.9 0.6%
Cable customer base (in ‘000) 326 394 20.8%
Net adds (in ‘000) 22 12 -44.4%
B2C convergent ARPO (€ per month) 73.6 72.7 -1.3%
       
Q4 Financial Highlights
  • Revenues reached €361.4m, up 5.3% yoy. Retail service revenues followed a similar trend, up 5.7%, mainly thanks to higher convergence services (+15.1% yoy). Equipment sales increased thanks to strong demand over the end-of-year period. Wholesales revenues remained stable in comparison to last year.
  • EBITDAaL grew 10.7% yoy to €95.1m, driven by higher retail service revenues and cost efficiencies in A&P and property expenses.
  • eCapex increased 16.4% yoy to €82.6m, mainly explained by a catch-up from previous quarters and RAN sharing deployment.
  • Debt closed at €69.5m with gearing at 0.2x.

Orange Belgium Group: key financial figures

  reported   reported reported   reported
in €m Q4 2020 Q4 2021 change FY 2020 FY 2021 change
Revenues 343.0 361.4 5.3% 1 314.9 1 363.5 3.7%
Retail service revenues 229.5 242.6 5.7% 905.9 945.1 4.3%
             
EBITDAaL 85.9 95.1 10.7% 323.5 353.0 9.1%
margin as % of revenues 25.1% 26.3% 127 bp 24.6% 25.9% 129 bp
eCapex1 -70.9 -82.6 16.4% -177.7 -204.1 14.8%
Operating cash flow2 15.0 12.6 -16.3% 145.8 148.9 2.2%
             
Net financial debt 144.9 69.5   144.9 69.5  
             
  1. eCapex excluding licence fees. In Q1 and Q3 2021 Orange Belgium paid 10.9 million euros on licence fees each quarter.
  2. Operating cash flow defined as EBITDAaL – eCapex excluding licence fees.  

Xavier Pichon, Chief Executive Officer, commented:

We can be proud of what we have achieved in the past year, both in terms of business and financial performance. Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, many projects have succeeded.

Of course, I must mention the agreement signed with Nethys to acquire 75% minus one share in VOO. This acquisition, that needs to be approved by the competition authorities, will enable Orange Belgium to operate a very high-speed network in Wallonia and part of Brussels, thereby reinforcing the deployment of our convergent strategy at a national level. Our investment plan will enable us to upgrade the network to multi-gigabit for the benefit of customers and the competitiveness of Wallonia and Brussels.

We can look back on a very successful quarter in terms of commercial performance. Additionally, we accomplished some very important achievements in the 4th quarter: we launched our Orange 5G Lab in Antwerp and we also saw a ramp up of our new brand hey!

2021 brought us one step closer to achieving our strategic ambition and paved the way for our new market positioning, a new ambition for the years to come characterised by our strategic plan Orange Ahead.

2022 will certainly be a year of new and very exciting challenges that will bind our company to a future of growth for the benefit of all our stakeholders.

Antoine Chouc, Chief Financial Officer, stated:

2021 has been a challenging year. Nevertheless, we have been able to provide excellent financial results with a 9.1% increase in EBITDAaL, in excess of €350m.

With a growth of more than 5.7% during the fourth quarter of 2021, our retail service revenues remain the main driver of this EBITDAaL growth, greatly due to our convergent strategy. We also achieved significant cost savings. With our Orange Ahead programme and the implementation of the RAN sharing, we will continue our cost management which will create the basis for future EBITDAaL growth.

As announced in Q3, our EBITDAaL is above the guidance range of €320-340m. The other figures are in line with our guidance. We expected a low-single digit growth in revenues, which resulted in a 3.7% increase. Our eCapex was €204.1m, which is well within the given range of €200-220m.

2021 dividend

Considering the upcoming spectrum auctions and the balance sheet impact of the acquisition of VOO, the Board of Directors will not propose any dividend for the financial year 2021 at the Annual General Meeting.

2022 outlook

Orange Belgium expects low single-digit revenue growth in 2022. The Company targets EBITDAaL of between €350m and €370m. Total eCapex in 2022 is expected to be between €210m and €230m.

New financial calendar

The Board of Directors of Orange Belgium has decided to move to the publication of half-yearly and full-year results. The next financial results will be published on 22 July 2022 for the first half year of 2022 and in February 2023 (exact date to be confirmed) for 2022 full-year results. There will be no longer separate publications for the first and third quarters of the year.

Attachment

  • ENG Q4 2021 FV
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