Partner posts strong quarter as takeover nears

Partner

Third quarter revenue was up 5%, and the mobile subscriber base surpassed three million.

With Avi Gabbay and Shlomo Rodav close to signing a deal with Hutchison Group to buy Israeli telecom company Partner Communications Co. Ltd. (Nasdaq: PTNR; TASE:PTNR), the company has reported a 5% rise in revenue in the third quarter of this year, in comparison with the corresponding quarter of 2020, to NIS 837 million. This is slightly lower than the NIS 840 million revenue recorded in the previous quarter. The year-on-year improvement derives from growth in revenue from mobile roaming services and from fixed-line services.

Revenue from mobile telephony services grew 5% to NIS 435 million, while revenue from end-user equipment sales was almost unchanged from the corresponding quarter, at NIS 136 million.

The group's operating profit was NIS 49 million, which compares with NIS 20 million in the corresponding quarter, and EBITDA totaled NIS 250 million, which compares with NIS 204 million in the corresponding quarter, representing a rise of 27%.

Net profit in the third quarter of this year was NIS 24 million, which compares with NIS 5 million in the corresponding quarter and NIS 9 million in the previous quarter.

The company added 19,000 fiber-optic subscribers in the quarter, and has connected 624,000 households. It added 3,000 subscribers to its television service, and 11,000 Internet subscribers.

Largely thanks to winning a tender by the Ministry of Education to provide mobile telephony services for twelve months, Partner added 49,000 mobile subscribers, and its subscriber base surpassed three million. Nevertheless, it posted a decline in ARPU (average revenue per user) to NIS 48 monthly from NIS 51 monthly in the corresponding quarter, as a result of continued price erosion.

The fixed-line segment saw improvement, among other things because of a rise in the price of the television service and updating of the triple packages. Revenue in this segment grew to NIS 270 million from NIS 252 million in the corresponding quarter.

Partner CEO Avi Zvi said, "Partner exceeded the three million cellular subscribers mark, for the first time in almost a decade, and continued to reduce the churn rate to the lowest level since 2011. This achievement is a major part of our strategy to invest in customer service and technology, in order to maintain our customers' high loyalty levels owing to their satisfaction with the service we provide.

"Along with the improvement in operational indicators, the company has been engaged over recent months in assembling a new management team and formulating Partner's strategy for the coming years, continuing the 5G cellular network deployment and, of course, accelerating the 'Private Fiber' infrastructure deployment, that expands the Company's value chain, from a services provider to a provider of services and infrastructure.

"As of today, Partner has more than 200 thousand fiber-optic subscribers, from within over 660 thousand households in dozens of municipalities around the country that have the ability to connect to Partner's fiber-optic network without delay. By the end of 2022, we expect that approximately one million households will be able to connect and enjoy Partner's fiber-optic experience across the country."

Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on November 29, 2021.

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd., 2021.

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