A healthy increase in customer numbers helped Belgacom Group to report growth in underlying revenue in the first three months of the year.

Reported Q1 revenues were flat at €1.5 billion.

However, core underlying revenue rose 3.3 percent as the operator saw growth in both its consumer and enterprise business units.

A rise in customer numbers boosted sales at its Consumer arm.

The operator added 14,000 voice, 51,000 broadband and 65,000 new TV customers during the quarter.

Underlying revenues rose 5.3 percent to €711 million as result.

Mobile service and handset revenue growth pushed up sales at the operator’s enterprise arm.

Underlying revenue grew 2.1 percent to €329 million.

Belgacom said business customers with a 4G device had increased their average monthly data consumption by 42 percent to 718MB over the past 12 months.

There was also an impressive performance at the operator’s international carrier services arm BICS.

Underlying revenues were up 12 percent to €399 million thanks to positive currency movements, particularly the US dollar.

Group EBITDA rose 4.9 percent thanks to the increase in sales, but net profit fell by €16 million to €129 million due to higher tax expenses, the operator said.

Capex rose by €47 million to €227 million.

Belgacom Group CEO Dominique Leroy commented: “I’m proud to announce we had a successful start of the year 2015, with both financial and operational achievements supporting our 2016 ambition to return to sustainable growth.

“The company is making good progress on our ‘Fit for Growth’-strategy, and is already reaping some of the awards. We can therefore with confidence reiterate our 2015 outlook.”

The Q2 issue of European Communications features an exclusive interview with Dominique Leroy. Click here to get your copy

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