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Telenet gets lift from fixed-mobile convergence

Liberty Global-backed Belgian cable operator Telenet’s operational performance in the first quarter was boosted by solid take up of its fixed-mobile convergence bundles, although revenue and like-for-like EBITDA were broadly flat year-on-year.

Telenet saw take up of its Wigo and Yugo bundles increase by 29,400 to 429,000 during the quarter, the company’s best result since the same quarter last year. Telenet also added 33,600 mobile post-paid customers, driven by fixed-mobile convergence and the launch of unlimited mobile data plans under both our Telenet and BASE brands.

Revenue was €626.4 million, flat on a like-for-like basis, as was adjusted EBITDA of €320.3 million

CEO John Porter said that the operator had “managed to improve our operational performance as we stepped up commercial activities and migrated all remaining former SFR subscribers to our fully upgraded network in Brussels”.

He said he was “confident to see a further improvement in our operational performance throughout the remainder of the year.”

Telenet had 2,099,800 customers at the end of Q1, which represented 63% of 3,357,100 homes passed across its Flemish and Brussels footprint. It had 4,818,100 fixed revenue-generating units consisting of 1,916,800 video, 1,658,100 broadband internet and 1,243,200 fixed-line telephony subscriptions. Approximately 90% of its video subscribers had upgraded to our higher ARPU enhanced video platform at March 31.

The total basic and enhanced video customer base was 1,916,800. The company lost 23,100 net video subscribers during Q1 2019, impacted by churn in the SFR Benelux footprint.

At March 31, 1,725,400 of video customers had upgraded to higher ARPU enhanced video services.

Subscription VOD packages Play and Play More reached 433,900 customers in Q1, up 9% compared to the prior year period. The growth was driven by investments in local content both through co-productions with co-owned commercial channels Vier, Vijf and Zes, according to Telenet.