In the first half of 2020, Swisscom’s net revenue and operating income before depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) were slightly below the previous year. The Covid-19 pandemic has had a particularly negative impact on roaming revenues, but the overall impact on financial results in the first half of 2020 is small. Swisscom’s net revenue fell by 3.9% or CHF 220 million to CHF 5,443 million, while EBITDA declined by 1.4% or CHF 32 million to CHF 2,208 million. The revenue decline in the saturated Swiss core business continued. The CHF 165 million decline (–3.9%) in revenue is mainly driven by ongoing price pressure and the impact of Covid-19; roaming accounts for around a quarter of this (CHF 41 million). By contrast, revenue at Italian subsidiary Fastweb increased in local currency by EUR 56 million (+5.3%), with all customer segments reporting revenue growth. The number of customers with Fastweb increased year-on-year by 3.5% to 2.7 million in the broadband business and by 18.1% to 1.8 million in mobile telephony. In the Swiss core business, EBITDA fell by 1.2% or CHF 22 million. The decline in net revenue could be largely offset thanks to lower costs. At Fastweb, EBITDA in local currency increased by 4.6% or EUR 16 million as a result of the growth in revenue. Consolidated net profit of CHF 736 million is 5.6% or CHF 44 million lower than in the previous year, mainly as a result of the lower EBITDA.
Swisscom’s capital expenditure of CHF 1,075 million was 17.1% or CHF 222 million lower than in the previous year. Capital expenditure in the previous year included expenditures of CHF 196 million for mobile radio frequencies in Switzerland. Excluding expenditures for mobile radio frequencies, capital expenditure in Switzerland rose by 1.8% or CHF 14 million to CHF 779 million. The increase stands in connection with the further expansion of network infrastructure. At Fastweb, capital expenditure fell by 7.1% to EUR 276 million; in the previous year, customer-driven investments were above average.
The operating free cash flow proxy increased by CHF 177 million to CHF 983 million. Excluding the previous year’s expenses for mobile radio frequencies, the operating free cash flow proxy declined by CHF 19 million or 1.9%. Net debt fell by 7.9% or CHF 616 million year-on-year to CHF 7,171 million. The number of employees at Swisscom declined 3.0% compared to the previous year to 18,984 FTEs. In Switzerland, headcount decreased by 752 FTEs to 16,119 FTEs. In Switzerland, the reduction in the first half of 2020 totalled 509 FTEs.
Swisscom continues to expect EBITDA of around CHF 4.3 billion and capital expenditure of some CHF 2.3 billion for 2020. Mainly as a result of Covid-19, Swisscom expects net revenue to be slightly lower at around CHF 11.0 billion (previously around CHF 11.1 billion) due to the smaller roaming volume. If business develops as planned, Swisscom will propose to the 2021 Annual General Meeting that the dividend for the 2020 financial year remain unchanged at CHF 22 per share.