One of HT largest competitors, A1, published their FY 2020 results showing a slight decrease in revenues of 1.1% YoY.
According to the report, the Competition in Croatia focused on convergent offers with high data allowances, TV content and attractive bundle promotions. In the mobile business, A1 Croatia launched a new post-paid portfolio with attractive handset promotions and additional data packages, while demand for mobile Wi-Fi routers continued to be strong. The Croatian Kuna depreciated by 1.5% (period average) against the euro in Q4 2020, which led to a negative FX impact of EUR 1.8m on total revenues and EUR 0.5m on EBITDA.
In Q4 2020, total revenues in the Croatian segment increased by 6.0%, driven by higher other operating income and increased equipment revenues, which more than compensated for a decline in service revenues. Other operating income was positively impacted by one-off effect of EUR 4.2m stemming from income in relation to an agreement on network infrastructure rental, while equipment revenues were driven by higher quantities sold. Mobile service revenues declined due to the roaming shortfall, while continued strong demand for mobile Wi-Fi routers was able to compensate for some of the losses. Fixed-line service revenues declined, mainly due to lower bitstream revenues following the ongoing shift of customers from bitstream access to mobile Wi-Fi routers, as well as due to lower solutions and connectivity revenues. When looking at FY results, Croatian segment observed a mild decrease in revenues of 1.1% to EUR 428.1m. Of that, service revenues decreased by 2.5% to EUR 359m. Meanwhile, mobile service revenues were down by 2.8% while fixed-line service revenues decreased by 2%.
Total costs and expenses increased in Q4, driven by higher cost of equipment and higher administration costs as well as higher advertising and commission expenses. While cost of equipment came in higher due to increased equipment sales, administration expenses rose amid higher legal and workforce costs. Advertising and commission expenses also increased, driven by a higher number of promotional campaigns in the reporting period. Corporate network costs also benefited following the release of the above-mentioned accrual, while lower taxes and use of rights came as a result of lower frequency fees.
Going further down the P&L, EBITDA in 2020 stood at EUR 143.4m, representing a decrease of 1.2% YoY. This translates into an EBITDA margin of 33.5% (flat YoY). Meanwhile, in Q4, EBITDA rose by 10.2%, due to positive one-off effects, while EBITDA excluding FX and one-off effects decreased by 7.9%.
In 2020, A1 Croatia’s EBIT witnessed a 4.9% YoY increase to EUR 43.1m, as a result of lower depreciation by 3.6% or EUR 3.7m.
As a result of the adverse investment climate in 2020, A1 substantially reduced capital expenditures. In 2020, the company’s Capex in the Croatian market dropped by 42.7% to EUR 49.9m, which has been the trend in all of A1’s markets.