|In CHF million, except where indicated||2020||2019||Change|
|Operating income before depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA)||4,382||4,358||0.6%|
|EBITDA as % of net revenue||39.5||38.1|
|Operating income (EBIT)||1,947||1,910||1.9%|
|Earnings per share (in CHF)||29.54||32.28||–8.5%|
|Operating free cash flow proxy||1,853||1,626||14.0%|
|Full-time equivalent employees||19,062||19,317||–1.3%|
Swisscom’s net revenue decreased by 3.1% or CHF 353 million to CHF 11,100 million, while operating income before depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose by 0.6% or CHF 24 million to CHF 4,382 million. On a like-for-like basis and at constant exchange rates, revenue declined by 2.3% while EBITDA remained stable. The overall impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on operating income remained low. The restrictions on travel led to a substantial decline in both roaming revenue and costs. Profit before tax increased by 4.4% or CHF 75 million. However, due to special effects in the previous year’s income tax expense, net profit fell by 8.4% or CHF 141 million to CHF 1,528 million. Payment of an unchanged dividend of CHF 22 per share for the 2020 financial year will be proposed to the Annual General Meeting.
Swisscom Switzerland saw a continued decline in revenue from telecom services (service revenue). The 3.5% or CHF 298 million decline in net revenue to CHF 8,275 million was primarily driven by continued pricing pressure and roaming. Roaming accounted for CHF 89 million or about one-third of the decline in revenue. In contrast, revenue at Italian subsidiary Fastweb increased in local currency by EUR 86 million or 3.9% to EUR 2,304 million, driven by revenue growth in all three customer segments (Residential Customers, Business Customers and Wholesale). The number of customers in the broadband business rose by 4.2% to 2.75 million, and in mobile telephony by 12.3% to 1.96 million.
In the Swiss core business, EBITDA increased by 1.2% or CHF 43 million to CHF 3,527 million; on an adjusted basis (termination benefits), EBITDA decreased by 0.5%. The decline in revenue was largely offset by ongoing cost-cutting measures. At Fastweb, EBITDA rose in local currency by 4.5% to EUR 784 million as a result of the growth in revenue.
Swisscom’s capital expenditure decreased by 8.6% or CHF 209 million to CHF 2,229 million. The previous year’s figure included expenditure of CHF 196 million for mobile radio frequencies in Switzerland. Excluding expenditure for mobile radio frequencies, capital expenditure in Switzerland increased by 1.3% or CHF 22 million to CHF 1,596 million due to the further expansion of network infrastructure. At Fastweb, capital expenditure decreased by 2.0% or EUR 12 million to EUR 587 million and thus remained at a high level.
The operating free cash flow proxy increased by CHF 227 million or 14.0% to CHF 1,853 million. The previous year’s figure was affected by the expenditure of CHF 196 million for mobile radio frequencies in Switzerland. Net debt decreased by 8.0% to CHF 6,218 million, while the net debt/EBITDA ratio after lease expense fell to 1.5.
The number of employees declined by 1.3% year-on-year to 19,062 FTEs. In Switzerland, headcount fell by 580 FTEs or 3.5% to 16,048 FTEs as a result of the declining core business. Over half of the reduction was achieved through natural fluctuation, retirements and alternative solutions.
Swisscom expects net revenue of around CHF 11.1 billion, EBITDA of around CHF 4.3 billion and capital expenditure of around CHF 2.3 billion for 2021. Subject to achieving its targets, Swisscom will propose payment of an unchanged, attractive dividend of CHF 22 per share for the 2021 financial year at the 2022 Annual General Meeting.