In the first quarter of 2020, Swisscom’s net revenue and operating income before depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) were down on the previous year but remained within expectations. The impact of COVID-19 on the financial results for the first quarter of 2020 was minimal. Net revenue fell by 4.3% or CHF 123 million to CHF 2,737 million, while EBITDA declined by 0.7% or CHF 8 million to CHF 1,111 million. The revenue decline in the Swiss core business continued. The decline of CHF 95 million is a consequence of the continuing competition and price pressure. By contrast, revenue at Italian subsidiary Fastweb increased by EUR 29 million (+5.6%), with all customer segments reporting revenue growth. The number of customers with Fastweb increased year-on-year by 3.3% to 2.7 million in the broadband business and by 23.5% to 1.8 million in mobile telephony. In the Swiss core business, EBITDA declined by 0.5% or CHF 5 million. The revenue decline was largely offset by the ongoing cost-cutting measures. At Fastweb, EBITDA in local currency rose by 4.9% or EUR 8 million as a result of the growth in revenue. Consolidated net income increased by 2.9% or CHF 11 million to CHF 394 million. A one-off item of CHF 19 million in income tax expense contributed to this.

Swisscom’s capital expenditure was almost unchanged at CHF 516 million (–0.4%). At Swisscom Switzerland, capital expenditure was up by 4.0% or CHF 14 million to CHF 367 million, driven by the further expansion of the network infrastructure. Capital expenditure at Fastweb fell by 3.5% to EUR 138 million as a result of lower customer-driven investment.

Operating free cash flow proxy declined by 2.4% or CHF 13 million to CHF 520 million, owing to lower EBITDA and higher lease expense. Net debt fell by 3.0% or CHF 206 million compared with the end of 2019 to CHF 6,552 million. The number of employees at Swisscom declined 3.1% year-on-year, to 19,110 FTEs. In Switzerland, headcount decreased by 678 FTEs to 16,357 FTEs. In Switzerland, the reduction in the first quarter of 2020 totalled 271 FTEs.

The financial outlook for 2020 remains unchanged. Swisscom expects net revenue of around CHF 11.1 bil­lion, EBITDA of around CHF 4.3 bil­lion and capital expenditure of around CHF 2.3 bil­lion for the 2020 financial year. At present, it is not possible to quantify the potential financial impact of COVID-19 because it depends on a number of factors (such as the extent and duration of the pandemic, government measures to support the economy, customer behaviour in Switzerland and Italy, etc.) and there is considerable uncertainty regarding these factors. If the targets are met, Swisscom will propose to the 2021 Annual General Meeting payment of an unchanged dividend of CHF 22 per share for the 2020 financial year.