BASE skims the 3,5 million customers and continues to show profitable service revenues

Customers base up 16,9% to reach 3,5 million end of Q1 2009 / 52.000 net adds in Q1: market share over 25% * / Revenues and other income up by 7,3%

(PresseBox) ( Brussels, )
BASE presents today its results for the 1st quarter of 2009. BASE delivered yoy 6.2% service revenue growth during the first quarter of 2009. BASE also continues to increase its commitment towards a 3G strategy (combined UMTS + EDGE), when the regulator manages to create a level playing field on frequencies etc... combined with an HSPA roll out by end 2009. New partnerships like with RTL Belgium will support future impact and growth in Wallonia.

Financial details

The first quarter of 2009, the revenues and other income increased by 7,3%from € 150m in Q1 2008 to €161m in Q1 in 2009 due to the increased customer base and high traffic related revenues. The service revenues shows a growth of 6,2% (€154m vs 145m). The ARPU declined from € 17 to € 15.

EBITDA increased by 5,5% or €57m to €54m€ compared to Q1 2008 mainly due to increases in revenues.

Operational highlights

The total customer base reaches now 3.497.000 customers. BASE recorded 52.000 net adds in Q1 2009, also lower than in previous quarters, related to the clean-up of 93.000 inactive prepaid customers. Postpaid net adds amounted to 14.000, in line with previous quarters. The growth of postpaid revenues continued to progress behind the tariff plans Gold and Platinum.

BASE is continuing to expand its partnerships, which allows her to increase the focus on the core business. BASE signed a commercial partnership with mediagroup RTL Belgium, market leader in Wallonia. Sud Presse mobile has been launched. This new partnership offers a differentiating advantage towards our competitors. The customer returns to the centre of the BASE concerns and BASE materializes the strategy by the launch of a new brand image campaign focusing on the customers.

Focused 3G strategy, network based on a combination of EDGE and UMTS

After reaching the regulatory target of 50% coverage in 2007, BASE's focus has shifted to the launch of HSPA. In the first phase, BASE will rollout HSPA in the principal cities of Belgium. The first services on HSPA are expected to be launched towards the end of 2009. In the second phase, BASE will expand its HSPA network towards the intermediate cities. BASE confirms current UMTS investments in the network backbone are already operational to create capacity for the growing customer base.

Regulatory developments

The regulator has started a project at the end of 2008 to determine the MTA tariffs as from 2010. BASE is provisionally applying the current MTA tariffs.

* KPN Management estimates
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