Verizon Communications said its Q1 results highlighted “strong wireless profitability and customer loyalty”, although the picture was not completely rosy.
“To build on our loyal customer base and the third-party recognition we have received for network leadership, we extended our wireless and fibre network capabilities, began offering an unlimited pricing option and expanded our opportunities in new markets,” CEO Lowell McAdam said.
Verizon reported a profit for the quarter of $3.6 billion compared with a prior-year profit of $4.4 billion, on revenue of $29.8 billion, down from $32.2 billion.
Operating income in the Wireless business of $7.1 billion was down from $7.9 billion, on revenue of $20.9 billion, down from $22 billion.
The company attributed the sales slowdown to decreased “overage” revenue, lower postpaid customer numbers and continued promotional activity.
It ended the period with 113.9 million retail mobile connections, a 1.2 per cent year-on-year increase. However, it lost 324,000 retail connections, including 307,000 lucrative contract accounts during the quarter.
The launch of Verizon Unlimited “positively changed the trajectory of customer additions”, it said: prior to the mid-February launch, it had a retail contract phone loss of 398,000, which was partially offset by 109,000 additions after.
Without putting a figure on it, Verizon said organic IoT revenue increased approximately 17 per cent year-on-year.
During the quarter, it also announced plans to trial 5G in 11 cities, starting later this year.
Verizon’s fixed business generated operating income of $293 million, compared with a prior-year loss of $67 million, on revenue which was essentially flat at $7.9 billion.
The company said full-year 2017 consolidated revenue, on an organic basis, will be “fairly consistent with 2016”, with improvements in wireless service revenue and equipment revenue trends.
It also said it is on-track to return to the credit rating profile it had prior to its acquisition of Vodafone Group’s 45 per cent stake in Verizon Wireless by 2018-2019.
Verizon’s official statement provided no further update into the progress of its pending deal to acquire Yahoo’s core internet assets.
However, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer this week said it expects the deal to complete in June in its own Q1 earnings release.