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Telenet making modest progress in tough market

Liberty Global-backed Belgian cable operator Telenet saw the positive impact of uptake of bundled offerings and a modest uptick in its fixed subscriber base partly offset by lower mobile telephony revenue in 2017, resulting in full-year re-based revenue growth of only 1%.

Telenet turned in full-year revenues of €2.258 billion, up 4% year-on-year in nominal terms thanks to the acquisitions of mobile outfit BASE and SFR Belux.

The 1% boost to rebased revenue included increased input from the company’s wholesale business as well as higher cable subscription and B2B revenue.

Telenet had to introduce competitive promotional offers in the fourth quarter to pull in new video, broadband and fixed-phone subscribers in what it described as “a continued intensely competitive environment”.

The company did succeed in driving up its post-paid mobile base by 43,800 in the fourth quarter thanks to its new WIGO bundled offering and growth in demand for BASE’s postpaid offerings.

Adjusted EBITDA was up 6% rebased and 8% on a reported basis to €1.21 billion, helped along by lower handset costs and subsidies and lower MVNO costs. Telenet is in the process of ‘onboarding’ its full MVNO customers to its wholly-owned mobile network. The company said that it had migrated about 90% of its base by the end of 2017.

Telenet now expects adjusted EBITDA growth of 7-8% for 2018.