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Tele Columbus off to ‘solid start’ but TV numbers decline

Tele Columbus HQ

The coronavirus crisis had “no impact” on German cable operator Tele Columbus’s first quarter results, according to the company, which has maintained its guidance for the year after what it described as a “solid start”.

The operator’s core revenues of €115 million were flat year-on-year, but EBITDA jumped by 17% to €55.5 million due to lower non-recurring costs.

The flat revenues were the result of an increase in B2B revenues and more modest rises in internet and telephony revenues being offset by a decline in TV revenues by 4.6% year on year to €54.4 million as a result of RGU losses in what Tele Columbus described as “a structurally challenging market”.

On the positive side, Q1 was the fourth consecutive quarter of organic internet RGU growth for the operator.

Tele Columbus, which operates under the PŸUR brand, said that quarterly net add performance improved across all product segments year-on-year on a like-for-like basis: internet adds improved by 3,000 RGUs, telephony by 6,000 RGUs, CATV by 6,000 RGUs and premium TV by 3,000 RGUs.

Overall, Tele Columbus had 2.184 million cable TV subscribers, down 85,000 year-on-year, 585,000 internet customers, up 10,000, and 430,000 telephony customers, down 5,000.

Premium TV customers numbered 540,000, down 11,000.

Tele Columbus said that its housing industry business successfully managed to keep the number of homes connected broadly stable in the first quarter of 2020 at around 3.4 million.

Daniel Ritz, CEO of Tele Columbus, said: “Our first quarter results display a solid start into the year, unaffected by COVID-19, with growth in Reported EBITDA year-on-year in line with internal expectations. We are thus today confirming our guidance for fiscal year 2020, but continue to closely monitor the situation and will update the market with our half-year report in August. We are also planning for a comprehensive strategic update on the same occasion.”