MORE THAN AN ICT PROVIDER: ’EMPOWERING DIGITAL LIFE’
Another challenging year is now behind us. The Telekom Austria Group operates in a market characterised by intense competition, regulatory pressure as well as dynamically increasing de- mand for bandwidth and connectivity.
The consistent execution of our Group strategy (see chapter ‘Vision and Strategy’), with a clear focus on value and strict cost management, allowed us to achieve solid results even in the face of tough competition and regulatory frameworks. As a result, despite the substantial losses in roaming revenues due to regulation, the Telekom Austria Group recorded revenue growth of 2.1% in the year under review, which was driven, amongst others, by M&A activities. The num- ber of mobile customers remained stable at 20.71 million, while fixed-line revenue-generating units (RGUs) increased by 6.3%.
In Austria, the effects of the stepwise abolition of retail roaming and the intense competition were mitigated by successful market segmentation and a targeted increase in efficiency, which resulted in EBITDA growth. In the CEE countries, in addition to promoting sales activities, we also focused on cost efficiency and further crucial steps for the successful implementation of the convergence strategy. As a result, with the acquisition of the fixed-line operator Atlant Tele- com in 2016, Belarus became the sixth convergent market. In Croatia, the acquisition of Metronet strengthened our fixed-line position, especially in the business segment.
Moreover, in 2016, the Telekom Austria Group also continued its intensified investments in the rollout of its fixed-line and mobile broadband infrastructure to ensure that it is well prepared for future requirements. The enormous growth rates in data volumes transmitted via the net- works result not least from a current megatrend – often referred to as the fourth industrial revo- lution or Industry 4.0: Digitalisation is about to fundamentally change entire economic sectors and business models as well as social and personal conventions with enormous dynamism – in an evolutionarily disruptive way (see chapter ‘Digitalisation’). It is clear that this change is ac- companied by great opportunities and potential for telecommunications providers in particu- lar, as cloud, Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI) solutions, for example, are all based on their core business – connectivity. There are also considerable advantages to digi- talisation from a social and ecological point of view. For example, the promotion of equal op- portunities within the context of personal or social development and, in particular, because digitalisation preserves resources and the environment in general, it is conducive to more sus- tainable forms of business, living and consumption (see chapter ‘Sustainability’).
For all these reasons, the Telekom Austria Group has accordingly acknowledged its importance as part of the Group’s business focus to ensure there is a concerted effort to exploit its potential across the Group. This is opening up promising possibilities to go beyond our traditional posi- tion as just an ICT provider because as a digitalisation pioneer and provider of expertise, we want to offer more than infrastructure and bandwidth. We are presenting ourselves as the ideal partner for business and society in the course of the digital transformation. Accordingly, we have also adapted the company culture (see chapter ‘Employees’), which consequently follows our common purpose of ‘Empowering digital life’.
Alejandro Plater, CEO & COO, Siegfried Mayrhofer, CFO