Bezeq Israel Telecom

Bezeq net profit up 25% year on year, Covid impact "immaterial"

26 March 2021 | Melanie Mingas

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Bezeq Israel Telecom saw a 25.3% increase in net profit last year, declaring the Covid-19 pandemic had "immaterial" impact on the financial condition of the group.

However, it has confirmed the board is assessing a merger between its international ISP subsidiary with satellite TV business YES.

In its full year results, released yesterday, Bezeq posted an adjusted net profit increase of 25.3%, an increase in EBITDA of 0.8%, a free cash flow increase of 8% and a more than one billion shekel decrease in debt. Revenue was unchanged at 2.2 billion shekels.

For October to December, earnings stood at 174 million shekels (US$53 million), compared with a loss of 87 million shekels a year earlier. There were losses recorded from impairment of assets – 25 million shekels in the quarter – however, this was significantly lower than the 196 million shekels recorded a year earlier.

The company also projected net profit of one billion shekels in 2021 after reporting a profit of 796 million in 2020.

In fixed line, revenues increased "for the first time in five years", while improvements were recorded in retail broadband internet subscriptions, telephone ARPL, retail broadband internet ARPU. Bezeq also confirmed its fibre project launches this month.

On its subsidiary companies, the group said the board will "examine and promote a merger between Bezeq International and YES", as well as explore the spin-off of the ICT business division.

While Bezeq said Covid had little impact on its performance, it did note a decrease in mobile roaming revenues due to the pandemic and "streamlining measures" led to decrease in operating expenses.