US market-leader Verizon reported an almost $2 billion net loss for Q4 2012, but talked up record postpaid net additions and smartphone penetration.
The operator’s profits were hit by pension liabilities and costs relating to October’s Superstorm Sandy, resulting in a quarterly net loss of $1.9 billion compared to a $212 million loss in 4Q 2011, a period when the firm also booked non-operational charges.
But Q4 sales exceeded $30 billion for the first time in the company’s history, rising by 5.7 percent from a year earlier. For the full-year 2012, Verizon’s revenues totalled $115.8 billion, up 4.5 percent.
Total revenues on the wireless side came in at $20 billion for the quarter, up 9.5 percent year-on-year, and offsetting a 1.5 percent sales decline (to $10 billion) on the fixed side.
Verizon Wireless added 2.2 million net retail connections in the quarter, including a “record-high” 2.1 million retail postpaid net connections, bringing its total to 98.2 million, a 6.6 percent increase year-on-year.
At year-end 2012, smartphones accounted for more than 58 percent of the Verizon Wireless retail postpaid customer phone base, up from 53 percent at the end of Q3.
As of today (22 January), Verizon Wireless said its 4G LTE service is available to more than 273 million people — close to 89 percent of the population — in 476 markets across the US.