BRUSSELS Feb 24 Belgian telecoms group Proximus
forecast slightly growing earnings this year despite
the negative impact of regulatory measures by increasing its
customer base and cutting costs.
The company, formerly the Belgian state telecoms monopoly,
said on Friday that regulatory measures would reduce revenue by
81 million euros ($85.7 million) and core profit (EBITDA) by 69
million euros in 2017.
"Although facing a greater negative regulatory impact and
highly competitive market, Proximus expects its domestic revenue
for 2017 to remain nearly stable to the prior year," it said,
adding core profit would "slightly grow", supported by its cost
Proximus's Fit for Growth plan, initially launched in 2014
as a three-year strategy to bring the company back to growth,
now envisages lowering domestic expenses by 150 million euros
over the period 2015-2019.
Proximus said that in 2016 it had shifted its consumer
segment towards high-value, low-churn households and small
offices with combined telecom and TV packages and benefited from
strong growth of mobile customers among businesses.
Core profit, adjusted for one off items, grew 5.5 percent in
the fourth quarter to 441 million euros, broadly in line with
the 439 million euros expected in a Reuters poll of four
($1 = 0.9453 euros)
(Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop and Robert-Jan Bartunek)