Half-yearly revenues and profits at Swisscom fell as the company’s conservative approach continues.
H1 revenues were down 1.8 percent year-on-year to €4.7 billion, while profit fell 3.5 percent to €773 million.
The operator said it had suffered from price erosion of around €141 million as “more and more customers” switch from voice and text to IP-based applications and social media platforms.
However, it said continuing customer growth, new bundled offerings and new flat-rate tariffs were offsetting such losses.
In June, for example, Swisscom unveiled a new set of pricing plans based on speed requirements rather than the traditional call duration and data volume requirements.
Domestic revenues in the first six month of the year were down 0.4 percent to €3.5 billion.
Revenue from residential customers were flat at €2 billion, but heart can taken from the 35 percent increase – to 694,000 – in the number access lines for its IPTV services.
Enterprise revenues were also stable at €1.2 billion.
SME revenues were up, thanks mainly to an 83 percent increase in the number of customers signing up to bundled services, but revenues from larger corporates fell 1.2 percent.
Reduced roaming rates, shrinking revenue from data services and further unbundling of the local loop accounted for a 5.5 percent decline in wholesale revenues, meanwhile.
The company has been particularly affected by currency fluctuations between the Swiss Franc and the euro.
This is nowhere better illustrated than in its Italy-based broadband subsidiary Fastweb.
Revenues in euros fell 2.5 percent to €854 million, but Swisscom registered a 7.4 percent drop in Swiss Francs.
The operator lowered the exchange rate underlying its financial outlook for 2012, meaning full-year revenues forecasts have been revised down to €9.4 billion.
This is also, in part, due to Swisscom’s rising capex requirements.
Investment in infrastructure in Switzerland went up by 12.6 percent in H1 to €616 million.
The operator said it is investing “enormous amounts” in the expansion of its broadband network “in order to further enhance its competitive ability for the long term”.
This cannot be doubted, but the question about whether the company will be able to monetize new services is still a way away from being answered.
As European Communications has noted before, Swisscom is one of the few big operators on the continent that has not pursued an emerging market acquisition strategy and is overly reliant on its domestic customer base.
Although it benefits from one of Europe’s highest ARPU measures, it is continuing to fall.
The company has €667 million in free cash flow, but there is little evidence that it is looking to acquire new businesses or develop new partnerships.
This is something it may well regret.