For the full year 2019, most of the market dynamics mentioned at the beginning of the year-to-date summary on page 17 are expected to remain. In Austria, the development with regard to the new convergent providers is yet to be seen, while the competitive environment in the mobile markets of CEE are expected to show similar trends as in 2018. However, demand for fixed-line services is expected to serve as a positive driver across all markets. As in 2018, TV content and solutions & connectivity will be an important element here.
In this business environment, the Management of A1 Telekom Austria Group remains committed to its growth strategy, which is focused on three strategic elements: exceling in the core business, expanding the portfolio, and targeted M&A. As in previous years, results are expected to gain support from ongoing efforts to continuously increase operating efficiency.
For 2019, the Management of A1 Telekom Austria Group expects to achieve growth in total revenues on a reported basis.
The negative effect of the reduction of surcharges for international calls within the EU is anticipated to amount to approximately 1% of Group EBITDA.
The development in Belarus again is expected to be negatively affected by the devaluation of the Belarusian Rouble in 2019. The Management of A1 Telekom Austria Group expects the currency to depreciate by 5-10% versus the euro (period average), whereby it should be noted that the predictability of the Belarusian Rouble is generally limited.
The harmonization of the brands under the ‘A1’ brand will be continued. The respective companies will amortize the brand values until the phase-out of the old brands. More than 90% of these amortizations have already materialized as of year-end 2018.
A1 Telekom Austria Group will remain committed to the fiber rollout in Austria and the evolvement of its mobile infrastructure, especially with regard to the preparation of 5G, in its markets in 2019. Capital expenditures before spectrum investments and acquisitions are expected to remain approximately stable in 2019.
The frequency allocation of the 3.4 - 3.8 GHz band is imminent in Austria. The bidding documents were published in September 2018, while the auction itself will take place in the first quarter of 2019 1.
Based on the improved operational and financial performance of the Group, a new expected dividend level was agreed upon by América Móvil and Österreichische Bundes- und Industriebeteiligungen GmbH (ÖBIB) 2 in 2016. Starting with the financial year 2016, this dividend expectation entails the payment of EUR 0.20 per share to be maintained or increased on a sustainable basis in line with the operational and financial developments of the Group.
In this context, the Management Board plans to propose a dividend of EUR 0.21 per share to the Annual General Meetings 2019 and 2020 for the financial years 2018 and 2019.
In order to ensure its financial flexibility, A1 Telekom Austria Group remains committed to maintaining a solid investment grade rating of Baa2 from Moody’s and BBB from Standard & Poor’s (currently Baa1 from Moody’s and BBB from Standard & Poor’s).
1 Please note that this a list of potential spectrum awards procedures. The Group is not permitted to comment on whether A1 Telekom Austria Group is planning and sees a need to participate and acquire spectrum in the abovementioned procedures.
2 ÖBIB will be transformed into a stock company due to the change of the ‚ÖIAG Gesetz 2000‘ according to Sec 245ff AktG. The company will be transformed into Österreichische Beteiligungs AG (ÖBAG).
This document contains forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are usually accompanied by words such as “believe”, “intend”, “anticipate”, “plan”, “expect” and similar expressions. Actual events may differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements as a result of a number of factors. Forward-looking statements involve inherent risks and uncertainties. A number of important factors could cause actual results or outcomes to differ materially from those expressed in any forward-looking statement. Neither Telekom Austria nor any other person accepts any liability for any such forward-looking statements. Telekom Austria will not update these forward-looking statements, whether due to changed factual circumstances, changes in assumptions or expectations. This report does not constitute a recommendation or invitation to purchase or sell securities of Telekom Austria.