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A solid Q3 confirming a good trend

  • 07 Nov 16

A good Q3 release for the Italian incumbent: revenues were down organically by only 1.2% yoy (vs -5.2% in Q1 and -4.2% in Q2) while the EBITDA (excluding the negative impact of non-recurring items) has increased sharply by 7% yoy (vs a decline of 1.7% in H1!), with an EBITDA margin of 44.4%, 3.3ppts higher than in Q3 15. The EBITDA has clearly benefited from the actions implementing the “cost recovery plan” that started in Q2 in the Domestic Business and in Q3 in the Brazil Business. In Italy, revenues were up by 1% yoy (vs -1.7% in the H1). The solid, structural recovery of Mobile revenues was confirmed, thanks both to the maintenance of market share and the stabilisation of ARPU levels. But the key point is the EBITDA which has grown by 7.9%. Excluding non-recurring restructuring charges (corresponding to 3% of EBITDA), EBITDA would have grown by +3.3% for the first 9m, with an EBITDA margin of 46.5%, up 1.8ppts on 2015, confirming the positive change in trend that started in Q2 (Q3: +7.8%, Q2: +6.9%, Q1: -5.2%). In Brazil, Q3 revenues were down organically and at constant change by 5.2% yoy (vs -14% in H1)! Service revenues were down by 2.4% yoy, while revenues from product sales dropped by c.40%, reflecting a sales policy less focused on the sale of handsets, as well as the impact of the Brazilian macro-economic crisis on family spending decisions. The main issue is that the total number of subscribers (c.63.2m) was still down by 4.5% vs end 2015 (with a market share of 25.2%, vs 25.7% at end 2015). Note, however, that like its competitors the group has seen its prepaid customer base contract sharply in 2016, due to the adoption of a restrictive policy for the disconnection of inactive customers according to Anatel’s new criteria (the Brazilian National Telecommunications Agency). The Q3 EBITDA margin was good at 32.6%, up 1.4ppt on Q3 15. Excluding non-recurring costs, EBITDA has indeed grown by 0.5% with the start of cost-cutting operations which offset the reduction in revenues.

Best quarter in Italy since 2009

  • 27 Jul 16

Q2 revenues were down organically by 4.2% yoy (vs -5.2% in Q1) while the EBITDA (excluding the negative impact of non-recurring items) has decreased by only 1.7% yoy, with an EBITDA margin of 42.0%, 1.4ppts higher than in H1 15. But in Italy, revenues were down by only 1.1% yoy (vs -2.5% in the three previous quarters). The solid, structural recovery of Mobile revenues was confirmed, thanks both to the maintenance of market share and the stabilisation of ARPU levels. Note the revenues of the Consumer segment in H1 (55% of Domestic revenues) have increased by 1.5% yoy. But the key point is the EBITDA: excluding non-recurring restructuring charges (corresponding to 2% of EBITDA), EBITDA would have grown by +0.9%, with an EBITDA margin of 45.1%, up 1.2ppts on H1 15 and a positive inversion of trend compared to Q1 (+6.9% yoy in Q2 vs -5.2% yoy in Q1). In Brazil, Q2 revenues were down organically and at constant change by 13% yoy (vs -15% in Q1)! Service revenues were down by 5.7% yoy, while revenues from product sales dropped by c.60%, reflecting a sales policy less focused on the sale of handsets, as well as the impact of the Brazilian macro-economic crisis on family spending decisions. The main issue is that the total number of subscribers (c.64m) was still down by 3.4% vs end 2015 (with a market share of 25.6%, vs 25.7% at end 2015 and 26.7% a year ago). The H1 EBITDA margin was, however, at 29.9%, up 1.5ppt on H1 15. Another key point of the H1 release: TIM and Fastweb have entered into a strategic partnership aimed at speeding up the creation of the ultrabroadband infrastructure with FTTH technology in 29 Italian cities. The partnership envisages the establishment of a joint venture with 80% of the capital held by TIM and 20% by Fastweb. The new company’s business plan therefore envisages connecting around 3m homes with FTTH technology within 2020 which will allow connection speeds of 1Gps. Total investment is €1.2bn, which the joint venture will finance in part with equity and in part with debt. TIM’s share is already included in the capex of the 2016-18 Business Plan. Moreover, as part of the partnership, TIM will buy from Fastweb over the next 18 months the infrastructure with FTTH technology that will allow around 650 thousand homes in 6 cities to connect to TIM’s network a year earlier than envisaged in the Business Plan. The strategic partnership will allow the two companies to create the latest generation, extremely high speed, infrastructure more rapidly, at the same time permitting synergies in the investments.