|In CHF million, except where indicated||2022||2021||Change||in %|
|Operating income before depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA)||4,406||4,478||(72)||–1.6%|
|EBITDA as % of net revenue||39.7||40.0||(0.3)|
|Operating income (EBIT)||2,040||2,066||(26)||–1.3%|
|Operating free cash flow proxy||1,811||1,891||(80)||–4.2%|
|Free cash flow||1,349||1,513||(164)||–10.8%|
|Full-time equivalent employees||19,157||18,905||252||1.3%|
The main contributors to Group net revenue for 2022 of CHF 11.1 billion are the Swisscom Switzerland (74%) and Fastweb (22%) segments.
Compared with the previous year, Group net revenue decreased by 0.6% and operating income before depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) by 1.6%. The reported revenue and EBITDA development was significantly influenced by the performance of the euro (EUR) as a result of the substantial share held by Fastweb. The average EUR exchange rate decreased by 7.0% year-on-year in 2022. This resulted in negative exchange differences on Group net revenue of CHF 187 million and on EBITDA of CHF 65 million. Based on a constant EUR exchange rate, revenue in 2022 rose by 1.0% or CHF 116 million. Revenue remained largely stable for Swisscom Switzerland (+0.4%), and Fastweb achieved an increase in revenue of 3.8% (in EUR). In the other segments, revenue saw a marginal increase of 0.5%.
In addition to exchange rate effects, EBITDA development was also influenced by various non-recurring items. In 2022, provisions for legal proceedings of CHF 157 million were recognised with an effect on EBITDA (prior year: CHF 52 million). In addition, provisions for termination benefits of CHF 5 million were reversed with an effect on EBITDA in the reporting year (in the previous year, provisions of CHF 14 million were recognised). In 2021, there was also a positive non-recurring item of CHF 60 million in connection with change in pension plan. These non-recurring items negatively impact the comparison of EBITDA year-on-year by a total of CHF 146 million. Without these items and with a constant EUR exchange rate, this resulted in an increase in EBITDA of CHF 139 million (+3.1%). Swisscom Switzerland and Fastweb both contributed to this, with CHF 121 million and CHF 30 million respectively.
The development of the financial result and income tax expense was also influenced by non-recurring items. In 2021, gains from two shareholding transactions of CHF 207 million combined were incurred and income tax expense positively impacted by CHF 57 million due to a change in Italian tax laws.
Net income decreased by 12.5% year-on-year to CHF 1,603 million. The main reasons for the CHF 230 million decline in profit are the non-recurring items in EBITDA (CHF 146 million), in the financial result (CHF 207 million) and in income tax expense (CHF 57 million). Adjusted for these items, net income increased by CHF 180 million.
Capital expenditure was again substantial at CHF 2.3 billion. This was 1.0% higher than in the previous year and related primarily to network infrastructure in the Swiss core business and at the Italian subsidiary Fastweb. The generated free cash flow of CHF 1,349 million can be used to finance the total dividend of CHF 1,140 million and further reduce net debt. Net debt remained unchanged in relation to EBITDA at 1.7x. The single-A credit rating confirmed by both major rating agencies and the further increase in the equity ratio to 45% underline the solid financing.
Swisscom expects net revenue of CHF 11.1 to 11.2 billion, EBITDA of CHF 4.6 to 4.7 billion and capital expenditure of around CHF 2.3 billion for 2023. Subject to achieving its targets, Swisscom will propose payment of an unchanged, attractive dividend of CHF 22 per share for the 2023 financial year at the 2024 Annual General Meeting.