Elisa continued its steady if unspectacular progress in Q3 08, adding 57.4k customers to bring its combined customer base to 2.83m. Annual growth stood at 7.9%, up from 6.9% in the previous twelve months. Given that Elisa’s markets of operation (Finland and Estonia) both have penetration rates in excess of 125%, such a growth rate is commendable, as is the consistency of its growth: in the past eight quarters, figures for net additions have not fallen outside the 30k – 80k range.
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Elisa’s home operation represents 87.9% of the total customer base with 2.49m at the end of Q3. Net additions stood at 49.8k in Q3, down slightly on the Q3 07 figure of 52.5k. Proportionate quarterly growth was also down, from 2.3% to 2.0%, but the annual figure showed an increase of 1.0pp to 7.7%. In real terms, annual net additions were up to 177.9k from 145.9k. While Elisa occupies second place in Finland not far behind market leader TeliaSonera, in Estonia its subsidiary Radiolinja Eesti is the smallest of the three networks. At the end of Q3 it had 342.3k customers, up 9.5% year on year, compared to an 8.3% gain in the prior twelve months. Third-quarter net additions stood at 7.6k, up from 5.0k in the year-earlier quarter, while on an annual basis the gain was 29.8k, up from 23.9k.
Elisa Finland: Net Additions and Contract ARPU
The company does not release KPIs for the Estonian operation, but the Finnish side of the business saw quarterly falls in postpaid ARPU and blended AMPU, and a quarterly gain in postpaid churn – none of which make for happy reading. The ARPU figure was down just €0.40 to €26.40, although on an annual basis the decline was more marked with a drop of €3.50 as a result of the EU-enforced cut in interconnection rates. As for AMPU, this was largely flat year on year at 216 minutes per user per month. Churn showed a 0.8pp quarterly rise and a 2.9pp yearly rise to 14.1% per year – although this was still lower than Bité’s quarterly rate.
The cut in interconnection rates dented mobile revenue, which was down 6.0% to €237m, while mobile EBITDA fell by 7.5% to €74m. This left mobile’s contribution to total EBITDA down 3.2pp at 57.4%.
Source: Cellular News.