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Mobile Growth Hit by European Weakness
Posted: 16-Sep-2009 [Source: Strategy Analytics]

[Strategy Analytics reports half of European mobile operators saw EBITDA fall in Q2. However EBITDA grew in all regions outside Europe showing signs the worst of the recession may be over.]

Boston -- EBITDA fell by 3% among European mobile operators in Q2 2009, according to “Wireless Operator Performance Benchmarking: Q2 2009,” the latest report from the Strategy Analytics Wireless Network Strategies service. The improvement in European performance from the 5% decline recorded in Q1, coupled with the 4% EBITDA growth recorded in the rest of the world in Q2, may be a sign that the worst of the recession is behind us.

This research, which tracks the operational and financial performance of over 180 mobile operators who account for 76% of global subscribers, found that:

* EBITDA grew in all regions outside Europe and registered a 2% annual increase globally;

* Service revenues also registered 2% annual growth, but were down significantly from the 6% growth seen in Q2 2008;

* Gross subscriber additions were up 11% — attributed more to rising churn than rising subscriber growth.

“Over half of the European mobile operators saw EBITDA fall in Q2,” comments Phil Kendall, Director, Wireless Network Strategies. “However, this region is starting to reap the benefit of cost-cutting measures introduced to cope with lower customer spend during the recession.”

Susan Welsh de Grimaldo, Senior Analyst, Wireless Network Strategies, adds, “Cost-cutting measures also hit CAPEX in Q2. With a number of operators reluctant to over-extend themselves in the current economic climate, CAPEX fell from 15% of service revenues in Q2 2008 to 13% in 2009, resulting in a short-term boost to free cash flow.”

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