Swiss mobile operator Salt, which was rebranded from Orange Switzerland last month after changing hands earlier this year, has registered a 3.3% annual increase in turnover for the first quarter of 2015, due largely to a change in the way that the company reports equipment sales. Revenue for the first three months of 2015 was CHF319.3 million (USD336.56 million), up from CHF309.2 million, with the alteration in accounting responsible for a CHF15.8 million increase in revenue. EBITDA, meanwhile, was up 4.9% year-on-year to CHF87.8 million, with an EBITDA margin of 27.5% (+0.4 percentage points).
In terms of subscribers, Salt claimed a total of 2.167 million mobile users, including 1.146 million contract customers, up from 2.147 million and 1.142 million respectively twelve months earlier. Intense competition, lower SMS usage and reductions in mobile termination rates (MTRs) continue to erode revenues, however, with ARPU falling by 6.5% year-on-year (excluding the impact of the accounting change) to CHF36.7.
On a more positive note, Salt reported that its rebranding exercise was a success, with its stores across the country being turned over from Orange to the new moniker over the course of just three days. The cellco also claimed that it was seeing ‘promising results’ from new connected devices and ‘positive acceptance’ of its new packages, alongside an improvement in customer retention and acquisition. As previously reported by CommsUpdate, the cellco changed is name and branding following its acquisition by French billionaire Xavier Niel, founder of French internet service provider (ISP) Iliad, in February this year. The cellco had previously been owned by private equity firm Apax Partners, which had acquired it from France’s Orange Group in February 2012.