Related Businesses - business areas with growth potential
Related Businesses is a management unit established by the Swisscom Group on April 1, 2005 in order to identify and harness the growth potential of businesses closely related to the Group's core business. The new unit covers Broadcasting, Cards & Payment Solutions and Corporate Real Estate & Facility Management. While Related Businesses is not a legally autonomous unit, it is managed in the same way as the Swisscom's strategic Group companies.
The core competence of Related Businesses is the acquisition and integration of companies and their strategic and financial management. Responsibility for the operational management of such companies remains with the actual companies. The portfolio of Related Businesses covers the following business fields:
"Broadcasting": Swisscom Broadcast, Tele Rätia and Antenna Hungária;
"Cards & Payment Solutions": Accarda, Billag and Medipa;
"Corporate Real Estate & Facility Management": Swisscom Immobilien AG, including the 3,000-strong vehicle fleet and the central travel organization.
Swisscom Broadcast AG is responsible for the transmission of radio and television signals throughout Switzerland. With its 262 employees, the company operates some 500 of its own transmitter stations and more than 1,800 third-party transmitters. In addition to its principal customer, SRG SSR idée suisse (Swiss Broadcasting Corporation). In the year under review Swisscom Broadcast recorded revenue of CHF 165 million.
After several months of negotiations, Swisscom Broadcast came to an agreement with its principal customer SRG SSR idée suisse on a long-term collaboration. The first DAB transmitter stations went on stream in the canton of Ticino at the end of December.
In the autumn of 2005 Swisscom Broadcast launched a pilot trial for DVB-H (Digital Video Broadcasting – Handhelds). The main aim of the trial was to assess the effectiveness of the new standard, which was specially developed for the transmission of TV content and data services to mobile digital handheld devices.
In October 2005 Swisscom Broadcast acquired a majority stake in Antenna Hungária Rt., a former state-owned Hungarian company specializing in analog radio and television broadcasting. With just over 900 employees, Antenna Hungária recorded revenue of CHF 158 million in 2005. In conjunction with Antenna Hungária, Swisscom Broadcast is applying its know-how to drive digital broadcasting forward in Hungary and secure a leading market position for its Hungarian affiliate.
Cards & Payment Solutions
Accarda AG was founded on July 1, 2005 as the legal successor to Billag Card Services AG, a former subsidiary of Billag AG. Accarda is Switzerland's leading issuer and processor of customer credit cards and is looking to position itself as a provider of integrated billing and payment systems for corporate customers in Switzerland. The company is aiming in future to branch out into new business areas, and on July 1, 2005, gained entry into the healthcare billing sector with the takeover of Medipa Abrechnungskasse AG.
Billag AG specializes in the collection of radio and television license fees on behalf of the Swiss federal government. In 2005 Billag mailed twelve million bills to some three million households in Switzerland, corresponding to a total collection volume of CHF 1.2 billion.
Corporate Real Estate & Facility Management
Swisscom Immobilien AG (SIMAG) is responsible for all the activities of the Swisscom Group related to corporate real estate management and facility management, as well as for the management of Swisscom's 3,000-strong vehicle fleet. A fully-owned subsidiary of Swisscom AG, SIMAG is manages over 170 office buildings. The main activities of SIMAG in 2005 continued to revolve around the Swisscom-wide project to optimize office space and introduce new standardized workplaces.