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Urs Schaeppi, CEO Swisscom
Ad hoc announcement pursuant to Art. 53 LR / Q3 2021 results

Climate-neutral by 2025 — Higher operating income

+ + + Group revenue and operating income (EBITDA) rise + + + 81% of broadband customers use inOne bundled offering + + + Business customers: growth in solutions business + + + Fastweb sees growth in revenue, EBITDA and customer base + + + Net income up due to business activity and non-recurring items + + + Completely climate-neutral by 2025 + + + Adjustment of financial outlook for the year 2021 + + +
Sepp Huber
Sepp Huber, Head of Media Relations
28 October 2021

‘Swisscom achieved a strong financial result and reported a good market performance’, commented CEO Urs Schaeppi on the results for the first nine months of 2021. ‘We impressed with our offerings and good customer service. This is evidenced by our victory in the connect Mobile Shop Test and in various network tests. We are currently encountering headwinds with the expansion of our fibre-optic network, which we are realising for the whole of Switzerland. The Federal Administrative Court recently affirmed the precautionary measures taken by the Competition Commission. We are convinced that the point-to-multipoint architecture used in many countries is the right choice to make quick progress with the optical fibre expansion throughout Switzerland and to enable competition with wide-ranging offerings. We are ready for the future with our climate protection ambitions. We are already the world’s most sustainable telco today, and aim to be carbon-neutral or net-zero across the entire value chain by 2025 and to save 1 million tons of CO2 per year together with our customers. Our Fastweb subsidiary performed well, seeing growth in revenue, operating income and customer base.’


Intense promotional competition in Switzerland, growth at Fastweb

Group revenue rose by 1.7% compared with the previous year to CHF 8,343 million. In the Swiss core business, revenue increased slightly by CHF 20 million to CHF 6,150 million. Revenue from the IT solutions business with customers increased by CHF 35 million (+4.5%). However, competition and price pressure resulted in a decline in revenue from telecommunications services, which fell by 3.3% to CHF 4,122 million. Business in Italy continued to develop positively, with Fastweb reporting year-on-year revenue growth of EUR 81 million (+4.8%).

At CHF 3,465 million, consolidated operating income before depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) was up 3.2% on the previous year, and includes non-recurring items from adjustments to employee benefits and provisions for legal proceedings. On a like-for-like basis and at constant exchange rates, the increase was 2.7%. In the Swiss core business, the decline was offset by ongoing efficiency improvements and margin contributions from growing areas. EBITDA rose by 1.8% on a like-for-like basis; at Fastweb it increased by 6.0% (in EUR). In overall terms, Swisscom generated net income of CHF 1,536 million, up a whopping 31.7% on the prior-year level primarily due to non-recurring items in EBITDA and in the financial result in the first half of 2021.

High investments in the network – expansion in mobile communications increasingly challenging

Swisscom continuously invests in the quality, coverage and performance of its network infrastructure, reinforcing its position at the cutting edge of technology. At CHF 1,605 million (-1.7%), Group-wide capital expenditure remained high as at the end of September.

Court ruling leading to uncertainty regarding broadband expansion in the fixed network

As at the end of September 2021, Swisscom in Switzerland had connected around 4.7 million (or 88%) of homes and businesses to its ultra-fast broadband service (speeds in excess of 80 Mbps). Meanwhile, 3.8 million (or 71%) of homes and offices enjoy connections with speeds of more than 200 Mbps. Swisscom will make ultra-fast broadband available in every municipality by the end of 2021, even in remote locations.

 

The expansion of the fibre-optic network with FTTH, which Swisscom is realising for the whole of Switzerland, is currently clouded by uncertainty. The Federal Administrative Court recently confirmed the precautionary measures taken by the Competition Commission in December 2020, which partly call into question Swisscom’s network architecture. Until the situation is clarified, Swisscom is only building network elements relating to the P2P (point-to-point) network element (e.g. feeder to the home).  

Expansion of the mobile network – demand growing strongly

As at the end of September 2021, the nationwide coverage of Swisscom’s 4G/LTE network was 99% of the population. Swisscom currently covers 98% of the Swiss population with a basic version of 5G. As at the end of September 2021, Swisscom had 1,819 antennas in 851 locations with full 5G+.

 

In order to ensure high network quality while demand continues to grow strongly, the fifth generation of mobile communications must be expanded quickly. 4G is now almost a decade old and is increasingly reaching its limits. However, the expansion of the mobile network is faltering in many places, and the creation of urgently needed capacities for both 4G and 5G is being delayed.

Convergence: inOne bundled offering remains popular

The number of TV and broadband connections remains high, and demand for bundled offerings continues. Residential customers in particular appreciate the modular, flexible inOne subscription. In October Swisscom also launched ‘blue Play’, a new media library with thousands of series, feature films and children’s programmes. This is offered at no extra charge for customers of the most popular blue TV subscriptions. There’s a technical innovation for sports fans: the most important moments – goals, yellow and red cards – are marked visually in the replay. This means that the audience is always ready for the most exciting action. In addition, from 2022 the new commitment to Swiss music will be live on blue TV 365 days a year.

 

As of September 2021, Swisscom had 2.50 million inOne customers in the residential customer segment. inOne accounts for 67% of all mobile subscriptions and 81% of fixed-line broadband connections in the residential customer segment, while 46% of customers use a combined offer.
The markets for broadband and TV are heavily driven by promotional offerings. The number of fixed-line broadband connections at the end of September was 2.03 million, and the number of TV connections was 1.59 million.

 

In a saturated market environment, the number of mobile postpaid lines grew by 101,000 year-on-year (+50,000 in the third quarter). Swisscom had a total of 6.19 million mobile access lines as at the end of September 2021.

Business customers: fierce competition and good demand for ICT solutions

The market for business customers is still dominated by high price pressure and new technologies. Revenue from telecommunications services fell by 4.7% year-on-year to CHF 1,235 million. Swisscom is in a strong position as a full service provider and customer satisfaction remains high. Demand for cloud, security and IoT solutions as well as business applications continued to grow. In addition, Swisscom received the global IoT Partner Award from Microsoft for the "digitised construction sites in railway infrastructure construction" project with the Rhomberg Sersa Rail Group. IoT, cloud, artificial intelligence and 5G make working in railway construction safer and more efficient. Revenue in the solutions business was up by CHF 35 million (+4.5%) in the first nine months of 2021 to CHF 821 million.

Fastweb sees growth in revenue, EBITDA and customer base

Fastweb increased its revenue in all segments in the first nine months of the year. Despite market saturation and strong competition, the number of its mobile customers rose by 22.6% year-on-year to 2.32 million, in no small part thanks to its attractive mobile telephony offerings with even more services. 37% of subscribers use a bundled offering combining fixed network and mobile services. Competition is fierce in the fixed-line broadband business which developed slightly positively, partly due to the excellent network quality: as at the end of September 2021, Fastweb had 2.77 million (+2.4%) broadband customers. The corporate business segment is also developing well and growing: revenue was up by EUR 51 million (+7.7%). The Wholesale division is also increasing with revenue up by EUR 18 million (+11.0%). The number of ultrabroadband lines provided to other operators now reaches 270,000 (+86%)

 

Fastweb’s overall revenue increased to EUR 1,755 million (+4.8%). Operating income before depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose by 6.0% to EUR 602 million.  

Completely climate-neutral by 2025 and 1 million tonnes of CO2 savings every year with customers

Swisscom was named the world’s most sustainable telco by the magazine ‘World Finance’. With ambitious objectives for Swiss business, Swisscom wants to remain a leader when it comes to climate protection and energy efficiency. By 2025, operational CO2 emissions are to be reduced by over 90% compared to 1990 levels. To achieve this, Swisscom will rely on 100% renewable energies, a fleet of zero-emission vehicles and heat pumps, and it will operate in a climate-friendly manner thanks to digitisation. It will also consistently reduce emissions from its supply chain. Residual emissions will be offset. In its Swiss business, Swisscom will therefore be completely climate-neutral or net zero across the entire value chain by 2025. In addition, Swisscom will enable a positive CO2 contribution of 1 million tonnes per year and also help customers to reduce their CO2 footprint with climate-friendly ICT solutions.

Adjusted financial outlook for the year 2021

The financial outlook for 2021 will be adjusted in terms of net revenue and capital expenditure. The adjustment takes into account the current status of the review of the fibre-optic partnership with Salt as well as developments in exchange rates. For the financial year 2021, Swisscom now expects net revenue of around CHF 11.2 billion (previously around CHF 11.3 billion) and capital expenditure of around CHF 2.3 billion (previously CHF 2.2 billion to CHF 2.3 billion). The expectation for EBITDA remains unchanged at between CHF 4.4 billion and CHF 4.5 billion. If business develops as planned, Swisscom will propose to the 2022 Annual General Meeting that the dividend for the financial year 2021 should remain unchanged at CHF 22 per share.

Key figures at a glance

  1.1.-
30.09.2021
1.1.-
30.09.2020
Change
adjusted*

Net revenue (in CHF million)

8,343 8,201 1,7%
(1,3%)

Operating income before depreciation and amortisation, EBITDA (in CHF million)

3,465 3,356 3,2%
(2,7%)

Operating income,
EBIT (in CHF million)

1,640 1,523 7,7%

Net income
(in CHF million)

1,536 1,166 31,7%

Retail broadband access lines
in Switzerland (as at 30.09 in thousands)

2,030 2,045 -0,7%

Swisscom TV access lines
in Switzerland (as at 30.09 in thousands)

1,585 1,586 -0,1%

Mobile access lines in Switzerland (as at 30.09 in thousands)

6,190 6,253 -1,0%

Fastweb broadband access lines
(as at 30.09 in thousands)

2,768 2,704 2,4%

Fastweb mobile access lines
(as at 30.09 in thousands)

2,316 1,889 22,6%

Capital expenditure
(in CHF million)

1,605 1,632 -1,7%

Of which capital expenditure in Switzerland (in CHF million)

1,124 1,191 -5,6%

Group employees
(FTEs as at 30.09)

19,172 19,026 0,8%

Of whom employees
in Switzerland (FTEs as at 30.09)

16,006 16,119 -0,7%

* On a comparable basis and at constant exchange rates

Swisscom uses various alternative performance indices. The definition and reconciliation of values in accordance with IFRS are set out in the interim report as at 30 September 2021.

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Disclaimer

This press release contains forward-looking statements. In this press release, such forward-looking statements may include, but are not limited to, statements relating to our financial position, operating results and certain strategic plans and objectives.

 

Because these forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, actual future results may differ materially from those expressed in or implied by the statements. Many of these risks and uncertainties relate to factors which are beyond Swisscom’s ability to control or estimate precisely, such as future market conditions, currency fluctuations, the behaviour of other market participants, the actions of governmental regulators and other risk factors detailed in Swisscom’s and Fastweb’s past and future filings and reports, including those filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and in past and future filings, press releases, reports and other information posted on Swisscom Group Companies’ websites.

 

Readers are cautioned not to put undue reliance on forward-looking statements, which speak only of the date of this communication.

 

Swisscom disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.



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