Verizon Wireless highlighted strong growth in postpaid customer additions and revenue, increased smartphone penetration, and “record” margins for the first quarter of 2013, highlighting “momentum” in the business which is driving revenue and profitability.
The business, which is a joint venture of Verizon Communications and Vodafone Group, saw an operating income of $6.42 billion, up from $5.22 billion in Q1 2012, on operating revenue of $19.52 billion, up from $18.27 billion.
Service revenue was $16.73 billion, up from $15.41 billion.
Operating income margin for the period was 32.9 per cent, compared with 28.6 per cent in the same period in 2012, while EBITDA service margin was 50.4 per cent, compared with 46.3 per cent.
Verizon said that it saw 5.9 million LTE device activations in the quarter. More than half of its total data traffic (54 per cent) is now on its 4G network, which offers coverage of more than 95 per cent of its 3G footprint.
It activated 7.2 million smartphones during the three months, with around 28 per cent of these new to Verizon. Smartphone penetration among its contract customer base has passed 61 per cent, compared with 46.8 per cent in Q1 2012.
The company said that average revenue per account was up 6.9 percent to $150.27 per month – it shifted to a “per account” rather than “per user” measure last year when it introduced its Share Everything Plan, as customers can add multiple devices to accounts.
Some 30 per cent of its retail contract subscribers are now on Share Everything tariffs.
It ended the period with 98.93 million retail connections, a 6.4 per cent increase year-on-year, which includes 93.19 million retail postpaid connections. It added 720,000 retail connections during the period, including 677,000 contract customers.
It said that last year “net additions for retail postpaid connections increased sequentially each quarter, and Verizon expects a similar pattern of accelerating customer growth in 2013”.
Verizon Communications, the parent of Verizon Wireless, reported a net profit of $4.86 billion for the first quarter of 2013, compared with a prior-year profit of $3.91 billion, on revenue of $29.42 billion, up from $28.24 billion.
Lowell McAdam, chairman and CEO, said: “Our strategic investments in wireless, wireline and global networks have given us the platforms to sustain momentum and take advantage of growth opportunities in key markets for broadband, video and cloud services”.
The fixed-line unit saw an operating profit of $13 million, compared with a prior-year profit of $157 million, on operating revenue of $9.83 billion, down from $9.95 billion.