United Internet gets off to good start in FY 2020

  • Customer contracts: + 170,000 to 24.91 million contracts
  • Sales: + 4.1% to EUR 1.329 billion
  • EBITDA: + 0.4% to EUR 300.8 million despite special items; like-for-like EBITDA: + 4.3%
  • EBIT: + 1.7% to EUR 184.2 million despite special items; like-for-like EBIT: + 8.1%
  • 2020 guidance confirmed

Montabaur, May 13, 2020. United Internet got off to a good start in its fiscal year 2020. In the first quarter of 2020, the company made further investments in new customer contracts and the expansion of its existing customer relationships, and thus in sustainable growth. All in all, the number of fee-based customer contracts was raised organically by a further 170,000 contracts to a current 24.91 million. Of this total, 100,000 contracts were added in the Consumer Access segment. In the Consumer Applications segment, 850,000 ad-financed free accounts and 10,000 pay accounts were added. A further 60,000 contracts resulted from the Business Applications segment.

Consolidated sales grew by 4.1%, from EUR 1,276.5 million in the previous year to EUR 1,329.4 million in the first quarter of 2020.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) increased by 0.4% in the first quarter of 2020, from EUR 299.7 million in the previous year to EUR 300.8 million. In addition to one-off expenses for integration projects and initial costs for the construction of the 5G mobile communication network, this merely moderate growth was due in particular to negative effects from regulatory decisions and temporary changes in customer behavior caused by the coronavirus crisis (especially in the field of telephony, due in part to work-from-home regulations and shelter-in-place restrictions). These effects in the Consumer Access segment had a total negative impact on United Internet’s earnings of EUR -14.9 million (prior year: EUR - 3.1 million). Adjusted for these effects, like-for-like EBITDA rose by 4.3%.

Although similarly affected by these negative effects, earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) rose by 1.7% from EUR 181.1 million in the previous year to EUR 184.2 million due to lower depreciation. Adjusted for these effects, like-for-like EBIT grew by 8.1%.

Earnings per share (EPS) improved from EUR 0.24 in the previous year to EUR 0.39. EPS was burdened by non-cash impairment charges on Tele Columbus shares held by United Internet, which are adjusted throughout the year according to the prevailing share price (EPS effect: EUR -0.22 in the previous year and EUR -0.08 in 2020). Without consideration of impairment charges, operating EPS rose slightly from EUR 0.46 to EUR 0.47. The same applies to operating EPS before PPA, which increased from EUR 0.58 to EUR 0.59.

Outlook 2020
Against the backdrop of uncertain macroeconomic conditions due to the coronavirus crisis, United Internet can confirm its guidance for the fiscal year 2020 and continues to expect sales and EBITDA to be approximately on a par with the previous year. This forecast is still subject to considerable uncertainty, as an exact assessment of the duration and impact of the coronavirus crisis is not currently possible. In the coming weeks and months, the company will continue to analyze the effects of the crisis on the business development of the United Internet Group and plans to update the outlook in its half-yearly report 2020.

Key figures Q1 2020 (pdf)