In CHF million, except where indicated
|Operating income before depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA)||2,260||2,227||1.5%|
|EBITDA as % of net revenue||39.7||38.6|
|Operating income (EBIT)||1,203||1,135||6.0%|
|Earnings per share (in CHF)||16.22||15.23||6.5%|
|Operating free cash flow||1,012||788||28.4%|
|Net debt at end of period||8,441||8,856||–4.7%|
|Full-time equivalent employees at end of period||20,775||21,443||–3.1%|
In the first half of 2017, Swisscom’s net revenue fell by CHF 79 million or 1.4% to CHF 5,690 million. Revenue in the Swiss core business decreased by CHF 110 million or 2.4% mainly as a result of fierce competition and fixed-line telephony substitution. Revenue from telecommunications services fell by CHF 76 million or 2.3%, with half of this reduction due to the declining subscriber base in the fixed-line telephony business and the other half to price cuts, including roaming fees, and a drop-off in the Enterprise Customers segment. Revenue in Italian subsidiary Fastweb rose by EUR 42 million or 4.8% to EUR 923 million, due to customer growth and higher wholesale revenue.
Swisscom’s operating income before depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) increased by CHF 33 million or 1.5% to CHF 2,260 million. This increase is primarily attributable to higher EBITDA at Fastweb, which rose by EUR 68 million or 20.3% to EUR 403 million, and includes one-off income from legal disputes amounting to EUR 95 million (prior year: EUR 55 million). Adjusted for this income, Fastweb EBITDA increased by EUR 28 million or 10.0%. EBITDA in the Swiss core business fell by CHF 29 million or 1.5%, with a large proportion of the drop in revenue offset by active cost management. Swisscom’s operating income (EBIT) increased by CHF 68 million or 6.0% to CHF 1,203 million due to higher EBITDA and lower depreciation and amortisation. As a result of the increase in operating income, net income rose by CHF 51 million or 6.5% to CHF 839 million.
Swisscom’s capital expenditure fell by CHF 136 million or 11.4% to CHF 1,057 million. In Switzerland, it declined primarily as a result of delays in network expansion by CHF 148 million or 16.9% to CHF 728 million. Nevertheless, progress continues to be made on expanding the broadband network. At the end of June 2017, over 2.7 million lines in Switzerland featured the latest fibre-optic technology. In total, Swisscom has connected around 3.7 million homes and offices with ultra-fast broadband (with speeds of more than 50 Mbps). At Fastweb, capital expenditure rose by EUR 16 million or 5.6% to EUR 302 million mainly due to higher customer-driven investment.
Operating free cash flow rose by CHF 224 million to CHF 1,012 million. In the previous year, cash flow was affected by the payment of the penalty of CHF 186 million for the ongoing Competition Commission proceedings regarding broadband services. At CHF 8,441 million, net debt is CHF 415 million or 4.7% lower compared to the previous year.
Headcount decreased year-on-year by 668 FTEs or 3.1% to 20,775 FTEs. In comparison with the previous year, headcount in Switzerland fell by 780 FTEs or 4.2% to 17,974 FTEs as a result of the declining core business. Around half of the reduction was offset by natural fluctuation and vacancy management. In Switzerland, the reduction in the first half of 2017 totalled 398 FTEs. (–2.2%).
The financial outlook for 2017 in terms of revenue and capital expenditure remains unchanged. Swisscom expects to close the financial year with net revenue of around CHF 11.6 billion and capital expenditure in the region of CHF 2.4 billion. EBITDA is expected to increase from around CHF 4.2 billion to roughly CHF 4.3 billion, taking into account Fastweb’s one-off income recognised in the second quarter of 2017. Subject to achieving its targets, Swisscom will propose payment of an unchanged, attractive dividend of CHF 22 per share for the 2017 financial year at the 2018 Annual General Meeting.