Mobile services

Eurobites: Proximus Ups Full-Year Forecast After Perky Q3

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Telekom Austria, Net Insight increase revenues in Q3; EU gets heavy with WhatsApp; Orange connects tobacco giant.

  • Belgium's Proximus has revised its full-year EBITDA outlook upwards to 3-4% growth following a third quarter that saw underlying group EBITDA rise by 4.7% year-on-year, to €474 million (US$517.5 million), though underlying revenue was down 1.4% on the year-ago quarter, at €1.48 billion ($1.61 billion). Proximus's international arm, BICS , is still in recovery mode, its third-quarter EBITDA of €40 million ($43.6 million) still 3.1% down on the year-ago quarter.

  • Telekom Austria AG (NYSE: TKA; Vienna: TKA) saw group revenues increase to €1.07 billion ($1.16 billion) in the first nine months of 2016, representing a 4.7% year-on-year rise in reported terms, with EBITDA rising 9.4%, to €415.5 million ($453.6 million). This was achieved in spite of the negative effects of the abolition of retail roaming in the EU as of April 30, 2016.

  • Net Insight AB (Stockholm: NETI-B), the Swedish video delivery specialist, has had a bumper third quarter, with net sales up 52.1% year-on-year, to 128.2 million Swedish kronor ($14.1 million). In August, Sky News Arabia chose Net Insight to connect its ten global news bureaus to its main hub in Abu Dhabi.

  • EU data protection authorities have ordered WhatsApp, the company behind the messaging app of the same name, to stop sharing users' data with Facebook until "the appropriate legal protections could be assured," Reuters reports. (See Eurobites: Fate of User Data Could Scupper Future M&A, Eurobites: Germany Gets Tough on Facebook's Data Grab and Facebook to Acquire WhatsApp for $16B.)

  • Orange Business Services has extended its partnership with tobacco titan Philip Morris International. The renewed contract sees OBS delivering a range of managed services worldwide, including a hybrid network and unified communications in more than 400 sites across four continents.

  • A judge in Italy has struck a deal with the head of Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL)'s Irish unit, Apple Sales International, that allows the executive in question to pay a €45,000 ($49,126) fine rather than go to jail for six months. As Reuters reports, the Italian government was investigating Apple over allegations that it failed to pay around €879 million euros ($959.4 million) in corporate taxes. Apple is currently also battling with the European Commission over its tax arrangements in Ireland, which the Commission claims are tantamount to state aid (illegal under EU rules). (See Eurobites: Irish Cabinet Decides on Apple Tax Tactics.)

  • UK cable operator Virgin Media Inc. (Nasdaq: VMED) has signed a partnership agreement with housebuilder Bloor Homes, which will see it supply its FTTP services to more than 2,000 new homes across a range of sites. According to website Cable.co.uk, the lack of a decent broadband connection in new UK homes is a problem that badly needs addressing by developers.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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