The Swiss Times - Swiss News in English

Swisscom earns more in 2023 – dividend at previous year’s level

Swisscom maintained its revenue last year and earned significantly more. The result is roughly in line with expectations. The telecoms group is once again distributing a dividend of CHF 22.

For the year as a whole, revenue rose slightly by 0.2% to CHF 11.1 billion, as Swisscom announced on Thursday. In the Swiss core business, however, revenue fell slightly by 0.8 percent to CHF 8.2 billion. Revenue from telecom services fell by 1.3 percent to 5.4 billion. This was offset by a 2.8% increase in sales of IT services for business customers to CHF 1.2 billion. Fastweb's business in Italy continued to grow (+6.1% to EUR 2.6 billion).

The operating result before depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose by 4.9% to 4.6 billion Swiss francs. The "blue giant" also earned significantly more on the bottom line: net profit increased by 6.7 percent to around CHF 1.7 billion. On the cost side, Swisscom achieved savings of CHF 60 million in the Swiss telecoms sector, according to the annual report.

With what it has achieved, Swisscom has more or less met analysts' expectations and its own targets. However, the potential for surprises was limited, as Swisscom had already specified and slightly revised downwards its revenue targets when presenting the figures for the third quarter.

Dividend at previous year's level

The distribution remains unchanged. As in previous years, shareholders will receive a dividend of CHF 22 per share.

For the current year, the telecoms group is aiming for revenue of around CHF 11.0 billion, a slightly lower operating profit (EBITDA) of CHF 4.5 to 4.6 billion and investments of around CHF 2.3 billion. If these targets are met, Swisscom also intends to pay an unchanged dividend of CHF 22 per share for 2024.

Swisscom will continue to focus on innovation in the future, CEO Christoph Aeschlimann was quoted as saying. His company will be investing around CHF 100 million in the development of AI solutions in Switzerland and Italy over the next few years.

Further fiber optic expansion planned

Swisscom also commented on its fiber optic expansion targets. By the end of 2025, fiber optic coverage in Switzerland should be 57%, with a target of 75 to 80% by the end of 2030. At the same time, the company plans to gradually switch off the copper network where fiber is available.

Swisscom is also expected to receive a fine from the Swiss Federal Competition Commission (ComCo) in the near future. In December 2020, the competition authorities took precautionary measures to stop Swisscom's fiber optic expansion. Specifically, this concerned a change in Swisscom's network architecture with only one supply line from the telephone exchange to the street manhole.

And as Swisscom itself emphasizes in its annual report, further proceedings are currently pending against it by the Competition Commission, specifically concerning the transmission of live sports events on pay TV, broadband access to postal locations, broadband access to business customers and directory services.

Daniel Münger to join the Board of Directors

Finally, the "Blue Giant" announced another personnel change: Trade unionist Daniel Münger is to succeed Alain Carrupt as staff representative on the Board of Directors. However, the Chairman of the Board of Directors and the other members are standing for re-election, as Swisscom writes further.

In terms of the total number of employees, Swisscom's headcount (calculated in full-time equivalents) rose by 3% to 19,729 last year.

©Keystone/SDA

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