A1 Telekom Austria Group posted a robust set of Q2 financials, although some year-on-year upswings were due to Q2 2020 figures being unusually low because of pandemic-induced lockdowns.
That said, the Group, which has operations not only in Austria but Belarus, Bulgaria, Croatia, North Macedonia, Serbia and Slovenia, reported a stronger than expected performance in the mobile business. Solutions and connectivity also exceeded expectations.
The uptick meant that A1 Group was able to revise slightly upwards its full-year outlook. At the tail-end of April, a 1% year-on-year rise in total revenues was anticipated. Full-year 2021 turnover is now expected to increase 2%-3%.
Capex excluding spectrum is projected to remain steady at around €800 million (US$944 million).
Show me the numbers
Top-line and profit numbers for Q2 got some decent year-on-year bounces. At Group level, revenues were up 6.4%, to €1.17 billion ($1.38 billion). Equipment sales jumped 22%, to €166.8 million ($196.8 million), compared with lockdown-tainted Q2 2020. Handset sales were particularly strong in Austria and Bulgaria compared with the same quarter last year.
Service revenues rose by 3.9%, to €976.4 million ($1.15 billion). Aside from growing strength in the "mobile core business" and roaming "slightly returning," A1 Group flagged continued high demand for mobile Wi-Fi routers. Mobile contract subscribers were up 6.8%, driven by strong growth in M2M subscribers.
EBITDA before restructuring increased by 8.1%, to €448.6 million ($529.4 million). Growing service and equipment revenues, said the operator, more than outweighed a higher cost base. Total opex was up 4.6%, driven by equipment, while product-related and roaming costs were also higher.
EBITDA in international operations increased by 11.0%, to €190.9 million ($225.3 million). There was strong growth in all markets, although it was flat in Belarus due to negative foreign exchange effects.
A1 is currently involved in an auction of spectrum concessions in Croatia, covering 700MHz, 3.6GHz and 26GHz frequency bands.
— Ken Wieland, contributing editor, special to Light Reading