Michaël Trabbia, Chief Executive Officer, commented:
Besides the COVID-19, we have been able to deliver a strong EBITDAaL growth, as a result of our Bold Challenger positioning and our continuous efforts on our Bold Inside transformation plan.
During the quarter, our commercial performance has been impacted by the lock-down but remained positive and increased again when our shops reopened.
In order to better address the customer demand for higher speed, we upgraded our Internet Boost option to an ultra-fast download speed of 400 Mbps. Our B2B customers can also benefit from this 400 Mbps internet connection. In addition, we updated our Love Pro offer to allow our Soho customers to benefit from the multi-product advantage that was already available for our residential customers.
As we constantly look at improving our offers while remaining true to our customer promise, we signed an agreement with Eleven Sports that will allow all our customers to access to the Jupiler Pro League for the five coming years at a reasonable price, without having to pay for large content bundles.
After 4 intense and passionate years, I will step down as Orange Belgium CEO in a few weeks to take a new and exciting challenge at Orange Group. I am particularly proud of the commitment and efforts of our teams that allowed us to successfully position Orange Belgium as the customer-centric Bold Challenger of the Belgian market, become a credible convergent player and deliver a solid and sustained commercial and financial growth. As from 1st of September, Xavier Pichon will take over the lead of Orange Belgium. I am convinced that Xavier, together with the teams, will bring Orange Belgium to further successes.
Arnaud Castille, Chief Financial Officer, stated:
The COVID-19 has impacted us on both an operational and financial level. The closure of our shops has reduced our customer acquisition in mobile and fixed, as well as handset sales. In parallel, we saw a reduction in churn during this period.
From a financial perspective, our revenues are mainly impacted by low-margin business, specifically SMS traffic and handset sales. Also, the decrease in roaming traffic has an impact both on revenues as on costs. However, our retail service increased, which is fundamental for our business. Therefore, from a margin perspective we saw a low impact on EBITDAaL, also thanks to the mitigation measures taken and the necessary efforts made by our teams. The reduction of cable activation also results in a decrease in eCapex.
As a consequence, we will adapt a little our financial guidance for 2020, by slightly decrease revenues in comparison to 2019 on a comparable basis and by a slight decrease in our eCapex including RAN sharing. We maintain our EBITDAaL guidance unchanged between €310m-€330m.
On 1 April, we started the joint venture with Proximus on the RAN sharing and transferred the relevant people to the newly created company MWingz, of which each has 50% ownership. This collaboration will clearly benefit both OPEX and CAPEX as we stated earlier.
From a cost perspective we continue our Bold inside programme as planned. We are migrating our customers to our simplified new GO portfolio and decreasing our legacy portfolio. Our new e-shop improved our digital sales, which also continued after the lockdown.