Group revenue decreased by 0.3% year-on-year to CHF 2,747 million. Operating income before depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose by 2.4% to CHF 1,164 million. The reported revenue and EBITDA development was influenced by the performance of the euro (EUR) as a result of the substantial share held by Fastweb. The EUR average exchange rate fell by 3.7% in the first quarter of 2023 compared to the same quarter in the previous year. This resulted in negative exchange differences on Group revenue of CHF 24 million and on EBITDA of CHF 7 million. Based on a constant EUR exchange rate, revenue in the first quarter of 2023 rose by 0.6% or CHF 17 million. Swisscom Switzerland’s revenue fell slightly by 0.6%. Fastweb achieved an increase in revenue of 4.7% (in EUR). In Other Operating Segments, revenue increased by 0.8%. Based on a constant EUR exchange rate, EBITDA increased by 3.0% or CHF 34 million. Swisscom Switzerland contributed to this with CHF 13 million and Fastweb with CHF 3 million. Other Operating Segments recorded a decrease of CHF 8 million. The largest effect on Group EBITDA resulted from the reconciliation of pension costs. Because the interest rate relevant for IFRS measurement has increased, the IFRS pension costs for the full year 2023 will decrease by around CHF 90 million compared to the previous year. The positive reconciliation effect in the first quarter of 2023 was CHF 24 million. The consolidated net income remained almost stable compared to the previous year at CHF 442 million (–1.1%). The higher operating income was offset by a deterioration in the financial result.
Swisscom’s capital expenditure was again substantial at CHF 545 million. This was 4.4% higher than in the previous year and related primarily to network infrastructure in the Swiss core business (+8.2%) and at the Italian subsidiary Fastweb (–2.5% in EUR). The operating free cash flow proxy remained almost stable compared to the previous year at CHF 546 million (+0.6%); the higher EBITDA was compensated for by the increase in capital expenditure. Free cash flow increased by CHF 146 million to CHF 209 million mainly due to lower income tax payments. Net debt decreased by 6.6% to CHF 7,171 million year-on-year. The number of Swisscom employees increased by 1.3% to 19,252 FTEs. In Switzerland, headcount decreased by 1.5% to 15,755 FTEs.
The financial outlook for the 2023 financial year remains unchanged. Swisscom expects 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 dividend of CHF 22 per share for the 2023 financial year at the 2024 Annual General Meeting.