Proximus gains TV subs amid lockdown frustration

Belgian service provider Proximus posted modest increases in its broadband and pay TV bases in the first quarter and said that it was unable to meet the full demand for additional services because the coronavirus lockdown prevented it from carrying out installations on customers’ premises.

Proximus’ TV base grew by 1,000 in the quarter to reach 1.641 million, up 0.9% year-on-year.

The number of fixed broadband customers reached 2.09 million, also up 1,000 for the three months to March, up 1.2% year-on-year.

The operator said that considering nearly 7,000 Internet customers could not be connected due to the limited customer installations in the last two weeks of March, the Internet customer base would have known a net growth of around 8,000 customers for the first quarter 2020.

Proximus saw continued losses in its fixed phone business, with numbers down by 52,000.

Guillaume Boutin

Proximus posted overall revenues of €1.086 billion for the quarter, down 1%, while thanks to cost-cutting, EBITDA was up 0.1% to €428 million.

CEO Guillaume Boutin said that the company’s converged base had grown by 12,000 with “a good performance on mobile and a continued commercial dynamic in internet and TV”.

Proximus’ cable rival in the Flemish region, Liberty Global-backed Telenet, also posted its Q1 numbers last week, and saw its own TV base decline by 3% to 1.852 million, with basic video customers declining by 23% to 147,400. Enhanced video customers fell by 1% to 1.705 million.

The company’s broadband internet base, on the other hand, rose by 8,100.

Telenet’s triple-play base also declined by 3% to 1.107 million. However, its fixed-mobile converged base grew by 34% to 575,800.

CEO John Porter said that he company had seen a spike in churn to its Play Sports subscriber base thanks the football championship being put on hold.

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