In the first quarter of 2019, Fastweb further consolidated its position in the Italian broadband market, with a steady growth in customers, revenues and margins.
Wireline broadband customers continued to increase as Fastweb added 92 thousand new customers, thus bringing the customer base to 2,575 million (+4% on previous year). Revenues in the quarter totaled 514 million Euro, up +4,5% on Q1 2018.
The market keeps rewarding Fastweb strategy based on continuous innovation and a commercial proposition based on clear and transparent offers.
A steady growth for EBITDA as well that at March 31st reaches 157 million Euro, whereas EBITDA including lease costs reaches 151 million Euro, up 5% on the first quarter 2018. It's the 23rd consecutive quarter of growth for customers and margins.
Fastweb keeps pursuing its industrial infrastructure-based convergent strategy with the aim of offering the most performing indoor and outdoor connectivity to its customers. Throughout the year investments will focus on the development of 5G both as mobile and FWA network, starting from the major cities in the country. A superior infrastructure that will complement the wireline ultrabroadband network already available in 22 million households – 8 million of which are covered by a proprietary FTTx infrastructure and 2 million by Fixed Wireless Access. After the successful 5G FWA trial launched in February in Milan, which confirmed the capability of the 5G network to provide fixed "fiber-like" connectivity with download speeds exceeding 1 Gb/s, Fastweb is getting ready to start FWA 5G trials in other cities, laying the groundwork for the commercial launch of the service.
Fastweb thus maintains its primacy in infrastructural investments which total 143 million Euro in the quarter - 28% of revenues, a unique percentage in Europe - keeping up its role in delivering innovation in Italy, with the goal to rapidly deploy a national 5G network and position itself as the leading convergent operator in the country thanks to its key assets, i.e. the fiber deployed in major urban areas, the spectrum portfolio and its FWA network.
Fastweb consolidates its leadership position also in terms of penetration of ultra-broadband connectivity services. By March 31st 1.482.000 wireline customers opted for an ultra-broadband offer (+32% compared to the 1.126.000 customers active in March 2018). Approximately 58% of Fastweb wireline customers - up 13 pp on 2018 and a unique figure in Europe - switched to an ultra-broadband service with download speed up to 1 Gb/s, indicating a growth in the demand for high-performance connectivity and Fastweb commitment in promoting the digital transformation of Italian families and companies.
The Enterprise Business Unit performed well over the quarter with a 2% growth in the orderbook over the previous year that was characterized by an extraordinary growth of new customers both with the Public Administrations as well as private business: Fastweb market share in the Enterprise market is now 31% in terms of revenues, and Fastweb is steadily the first alternative operator for business customers.
The performances of the mobile segment over the quarter were also satisfying. At March 31st Fastweb has 1.517.000 mobile customers, up 28% on the previous year with overall customer growth that continues to be strong despite intense competition in the market. Fastweb confirms its focus on fixed-mobile convergence - increasing to 31% the percentage of customers adopting both fixed and mobile services (+6pp in 12 months).