"In a quarter marked by a new total confinement, Altice Portugal once again demonstrated its resilience, which is evident in its financial and operational performance, which reinforces its absolute leadership in all telecommunications services in the country", Alexandre Fonseca, Executive President of Altice Portugal
The deterioration of the pandemic situation forced a new period of confinement during the 1st quarter of the year, but Altice Portugal's resilience was once again demonstrated by recording a year-on-year growth in revenues of 5.1%, reaching €549.1M . To this end, the evolution of the company's customer base and services was decisive, both in the Fixed Business and in the Mobile Business, enhancing leadership of the national communications market, in all segments and products. The operational performance resulted from the dynamics and sustainability of the activity of both segments – Consumer and Business Services –, together with the focus on different pillars: quality of customer service, robustness and security of networks and diversification of the portfolio of services offered.
EBITDA showed a year-on-year decrease of 2.8%, standing at 204.3M€, in line with forecasts. The evolutionary curve of revenue was accompanied by an increase in direct and commercial costs to support high levels of growth both in the subscriber base and in portfolio diversification, despite continued discipline in controlling operating costs.
Altice Portugal ensured its commitment to investment, with Capex reaching €111.3M, a year-on-year growth of +6.8%. At the end of March 2021, Altice Portugal expanded its fiber optic network by 97 thousand homes, of which 73 thousand were carried out on the FastFiber network, ending the 1st quarter of the year with a total of 5.7 million homes surpassed.
The growth of the customer base, in both businesses, was leveraged by the maintenance of the rate of uptake in the market and the control of churn.
Although the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are still being felt a year after its arrival in Portugal, the 1st quarter of 2021 revealed Altice Portugal's impetus and response capacity in the main financial and operational indicators. Altice Portugal knew how to adapt and face the challenge, with its various business units making the greatest effort and commitment to help individuals and companies to overcome this extremely challenging time, and through the diversification of services and commercial offers that seek to improve the economic and social conditions of the entire Portuguese community.
Consumer segment | 1st Quarter 2021
In the 1st quarter of the year, revenues from the Consumer Segment recorded an increase of 3.3% compared to the same period of the previous year, standing at 305.7 million euros (versus 296.1 million euros in the 1st quarter of 2020). This year-on-year evolution reflects once again the segment's growth path, interrupted only in the 2nd quarter of 2020 by the confinement resulting from the pandemic situation.
Compared to the previous quarter, revenues contracted by 2.0%, mainly explained by the evolution of equipment sales, which is usually more accentuated in the last quarter of the year, as the Christmas season usually has various initiatives and targeted campaigns.
The expansion of fiber coverage and the portfolio of convergent services decisively boosted the growth of the customer base over the last year, through the defence of the share in Recruitment and the control of Disconnections, essential factors for the impulse presented by Revenue.
Business Services Segment | 1st Quarter 2021 [Combines the Business Segments – B2B, Wholesale and the other Business Units of Altice Portugal]
The Business Services Segment had a total revenue of 243.4 million euros in the 1st quarter of the year, which translated into a year-on-year variation of +7.6% when compared to the total of 226.2 million euros recorded in the same period of the previous year. Compared to the previous quarter, it presented a slight decrease of 1.2%, because of the contraction in revenues from equipment sales, from the Christmas season, and the decrease in In and Out roaming revenues, due to the confinement in this period.
The first quarter of 2021 saw a deterioration of the pandemic situation that led to a return to confinement, and again the resilience of the network infrastructure was put to the test. The Work@home, distance school and online sales situations increased the demand for stable and secure broadband and mobile services, with Altice Empresas showing agility, responsibility, and robustness to face the new challenge.
The need to be creative continued to be a powerful driving force to respond to the evolving needs of the business world. The solid performance of the segment and the maintenance of market leadership in the main Telco business lines, underlines the critical nature of the services provided and the deep commitment of Altice Empresas to support clients in their digital transformation, which is imperative for them to overcome the current situation of global crisis, but will clearly be decisive in the longer term as well.