Proximus hailed rising EBITDA in 2017, but the performance of its international carrier division BICS continued to be a drag on revenues.

The Belgian operator saw underlying EBITDA increase 1.5 percent year-on-year to €1.82 billion, despite a dip in sales.

After reducing opex by €44 million in 2017, the company said it remained “well on track” to meet its target of €150 million in savings for the period 2016-2019.

Net income fell by €1 million last year to €522 million.

Group revenues were down 1.6 percent to €5.78 billion as growth in Belgium was offset by the performance at BICS, where revenues were down by €140 million to €1.32 billion.

The division’s growing data services are still a long way from offsetting legacy voice services, with the former only accounting for €317 million worth of sales.

Proximus CEO Dominique Leroy said: “TeleSign, consolidated since November 2017, will accelerate BICS’ strategic ambitions in the growing Application to Person market.”

[Read more: BICS CEO hopes TeleSign acquisition will offset “irreversible” decline of legacy voice]

In contrast, sales in the company’s home market ticked up 1.1 percent to €4.46 billion thanks to growth in TV and ICT services.

The company added 71,000 TV customers during the year, taking its customer base to 1.56 million, while security, unified communications and outsourcing services boosted ICT revenues.

Proximus now has 3.55 million mobile retail customers, down 127,000 year-on-year, and 1.85 million broadband customers after 65,000.

Leroy said: “In 2018, we will continue our transformation journey to turn Proximus into a customer-focused and fitter organisation, continuing our efficiency and simplification efforts to further structurally reduce our costs and transition to a digital company.”

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