KPN managed a small increase in fourth-quarter revenue, although full-year figures looked less rosy as the Dutch incumbent attempted to talk up the future potential of higher data speeds and a new cloud-based TV platform.
CEO Eelco Blok referred to 2014 as “a transformational year” when the company sold E-Plus — a longterm pillar of its strategy — but acquired the remaining stake in FTTH venture Reggefiber, as well as a minority stake in Telefonica Deutschland.
A 2.1 per cent rise to €2.1 billion in Q4 revenue may only be slight but loomed large for a company bedevilled by long-term revenue decline. Losses narrowed to €37 million from €108 million a year earlier.
Positive factors in the three months to end-December included 57,000 postpaid net additions in its consumer mobile business, as well as 116,000 subscribers taking its fixed-mobile bundle. The operator now has more than two million 4G subscribers in the Netherlands.
And the company is committed to a multiplay strategy with the launch in January 2015 of TV Everywhere, which enables consumers to watch TV on all their devices, supported by the operator’s cloud-based TV infrastructure. The operator also increased the size of its data bundles for users, to encourage “carefree usage”.
For 2015 and beyond, KPN wants to boost network capacity by deploying 1800 MHz and carrier aggregation, alongside greater speeds for its fixed infrastructure.
However, full-year revenue fell by 4.6 per cent to €8.1 billion, while net profit fell by 18 per cent to €239 million.
Blok was cautious on a 2015 outlook as competition from cable operators and other rivals made a forecast hard to pin down. He expects adjusted Ebitda to be “stabilised” by the end of this year and forecast a growth in free cashflow. However, his statement omitted to mention any growth in revenue in the year ahead.