Posts filed under ‘ARPU’
Leap Wireless reported a hefty increase in its net new subscribers for the first quarter.However, it still came in behind competing wireless operator MetroPCS. Both companies have benefited from the current economic slowdown as mobile customers defect to their flat-rate, no-contract wireless services instead of sticking with landlines or high-end plans. MetroPCS appears to be doing a bit better than Leap after posting a net profit and higher customer additions in its latest quarter, although its churn rate and ARPU (average revenue per user) come in behind Leap’s. Leap added 493,000 new subscribers while MetroPCS plowed its way ahead with an additional 684,000 customers in the same period, and it expanded into highly-populated markets in New York and Boston and covered an additional 15 million people.Leap launched service in Chicago and Philadelphia toward the end of the first quarter, covering an additional 17 million people and adding 193,300 customers in those new markets.
Belgium’s second largest cellco by subscribers, Mobistar, has released financial results for its 2008 fiscal year, revealing earnings in line with forecasts. Total revenue for the operator for the twelve months ended 31 December 2008 rose 1.7% year-on-year to EUR1.57 billion (USD2.03 billion), although service revenue fell 0.1% to EUR1.44 billion. The drop in service revenue was attributed to continued pressure on prices and mobile termination rates (MTR), alongside the lowering of roaming fees for both voice and data. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) fell 0.1% y-o-y to EUR591.6 million, while net profit for the twelve-month period also dropped to EUR280.1 million, down from EUR289.9 million a year earlier, a 3.4% decline. Mobistar has indicated that it expects to see net profit fall further in 2009 as a result of increased regulatory pressure and the declining economic climate.
Mobistar reported that its combined subscriber base at the end of the year had risen to 3.74 million, up almost 250,000 against the same time a year earlier. Average revenue per user (ARPU) however, had reportedly fallen by 5.9% over the year to EUR32.5 per month at 31 December 2008.
The Egyptian Company for Mobile Services (MobiNil), Egypt’s largest mobile operator by subscribers, has announced financial results for both the three- and twelve-month periods ending 31 December 2008. MobiNil reported that, for the fourth quarter net profit rose 25% year-on year to EGP551 million (USD100.4 million), whilst revenue increased 24% over the three months to EGP2.64 billion. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation meanwhile surged up 57% y-o-y to EGP1.34 billion in the fourth quarter. Average revenue per user (ARPU) for the fourth quarter declined 8% however, to EGP44 per month, which the operator attributed to its increased penetration of lower revenue market segments. Similar upward trends were also reported for the twelve-month results, with net profit, revenue and EBTIDA rising 8%, 21% and 27% respectively. Global blended ARPU over the year was EGP46, a 15% decline against the 2007 figure.
Japanese mobile operator NTT Docomo reported revenues for the nine months to December of JPY 3.38 trillion, down 4.1 percent from JPY 3.52 trillion in the year-earlier period. Service revenues fell 8.8 percent to JPY 2.79 trillion. However, operating income rose 19.5 percent to JPY 746.8 billion, and net income totalled JPY 437.7 billion, up 16.3 percent from JPY 376.5 billion in year-ago period. Docomo ended December with 54.16 million subscribers, 87.7 percent of which are Foma subscribers. Churn in third quarter improved to 0.44 percent from 0.74 percent a year earlier, reflecting the effect of the new discount programmes and handset instalment plans. Blended ARPU was JPY 5,820 in the nine-month period, versus JPY 6,470 a year earlier. For the full year, Docomo maintained its forecast of JPY 4.59 trillion in revenues, operating income of JPY 830 billion, and a net income of JPY 495 billion.
Japan’s second largest telecoms group by subscribers KDDI Corp posted operating profits of JPY143.8 billion (USD1.6 billion) for its fiscal third-quarter ended 31 December 2008, up from JPY121.4 billion in the corresponding year earlier period. The operator said the strong growth in profit was the result of lower handset subsidies which counteracted an anticipated slowdown in handset sales; KDDI has maintained its full-year growth forecast despite the global downturn.
Unlike many other telecoms companies that have cut their outlooks in recent months, KDDI has remained strong thanks to the introduction of a new business model that allowed it to cut the costly subsidies it pays to retailers. However, KDDI president Tadashi Onodera has warned that poor handset sales and rising costs have already forced it to up its subsidies and in some cases, sell older handset models for next to nothing as the impact of the economic recession increases. ‘Corporate customers who use phones just for talking have usually been first to cut their usage when the economy turns bad,’ the president told a press briefing. ‘Not only can we not get new subscriptions, but also the chance of service cancellations is not zero.’ Nonetheless, KDDI, reaffirmed its forecast for a JPY443 billion profit in the full year to 31 March 2009, up 10.6% year-on-year, but below a consensus forecast of JPY469 billion in a poll of 18 analysts by Reuters Estimates.
KDDI said its revenue in the period under review dropped 2.4% year-on-year to JPY882.4 billion due to lower average revenue per user (ARPU) and falling handset sales. The dip in revenues surprised the company which had expected to see the positive impact on revenues of new subscriber additions offsetting the drop in ARPU. KDDI has trimmed its FY2008/09 revenue target by 5% to JPY3.5 trillion and cut its target for cellphone sales by nearly 25% to 10.9 million units.
A Strategy Analytics report is predicting that US cellular subscriber growth will remain strong despite the economic situation, although growth levels will scale back slightly from 2008. US cellular service revenues will also continue to grow, albeit at a slower growth rate of 3.9%, down from 7.5% in 2008.Strong data ARPUs (average revenue per user), driven by flat-rate data plans and increasing adoption of smartphones and mobile broadband datacards, will not be enough to keep total ARPUs from dropping minimally in 2009.
In the current economic climate carriers must address tightening consumer wallets. Rather than just pushing prepaid as the perfect recession-proof tariff, carriers will work to make postpaid plans more attractive to budget-conscious customers who are re-examining their cellular spend, explains Phil Kendall, Director of the Strategy Analytics Wireless Network Strategies service.