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Swisscom H1'19 revenue down 2.4% YOY on service, hardware declines

Swisscom AG posted group revenue of CHF5.66 billion for the first half of 2019, down by 2.4% from year-ago figures.

The telecom operator's core business in Switzerland reported CHF4.26 billion in revenue for the period, representing a 3.2% year-over-year decrease. Revenue from telecom services dropped by CHF134 million, mainly due to falling prices in various segments and a decrease in fixed-line connections.

Swisscom's consolidated EBITDA, however, reached CHF2.24 billion in the same period, representing a 4.5% increase from the same period last year.

Company CEO Urs Schaeppi said Swisscom managed to survive a "difficult market environment" by launching new offers and investing in network expansion.

The company's inOne bundled offering, for example, had 2.57 million registered customers as of end-June, with about 570,000 signing up four months since its launch. The number of TV connections totaled 1.53 million for the period, a year-over-year increase of 10,000 or 0.7%.

Swisscom rolled out its 5G network in April and expects 5G coverage for 90% of Switzerland by year-end, Schaeppi said.

In Italy, Swisscom unit Fastweb SpA reported €1.05 billion in revenue, a 3.8% increase from the same period in 2018. Revenue from the telco's corporate segment was €416 million, up €48 million or 13% year over year.

Fastweb's broadband customer base increased 4% year over year to 2.6 million, while its mobile business had 1.6 million customers for the period or a 27% year-over-year increase.

Swisscom still expects revenue of about CHF11.4 billion and EBITDA of more than CHF4.3 billion for 2019. Subject to hitting these targets, the company will propose a per-share dividend of CHF22 during its 2020 general meeting.