Ice Group ASA: fourth quarter and full-year 2020 interim results

16 February 2021 – Ice Group ASA delivered all time high operational revenues of NOK 572 million in the fourth quarter 2020, up 15% from the same period last year (Q4 2019: 498) and the company’s best ever adjusted EBITDA-result of NOK 30 million (-34), equivalent to an EBITDA-margin of 5%. For 2021, Ice Group expects to deliver an adjusted EBITDA margin of 15-20%.

“We demonstrated excellent progress in the fourth quarter as all our key parameters continue to point in the right direction. Our revenues and EBITDA results developed positively. Our mobile phone network continued to grow, and our on-net traffic increased significantly. Our churn rate developed favourably, and we grew our customer base,” says Eivind Helgaker, CEO of Ice Group.

Ice Group’s total operating revenue ended at NOK 572 million (498) in the fourth quarter, total service revenue was NOK 500 million (468), with smartphone service revenue at NOK 421 million (389). Adjusted EBITDA ended at NOK 30 million (-34), equivalent to an EBITDA margin of 5%.

Operational KPIs develop favourably

Ice Group continues to grow its market share and added 20,000 new subscribers in the fourth quarter. Ice Group saw record-low churn with only 23% average annualized churn (26%) in the quarter. The company also experienced an underlying positive growth in subscription ARPU, even though the loss of international roaming due to Covid-19 in 2020 and one-off effects in Q4 2019 reduce the total ARPU figure compared to the same period last year.

Ice Group added 191 new smartphone base stations on air in the fourth quarter, delivering on its mission of building the third mobile network in Norway. The increased coverage of its network is improving the on-net share as planned. The average data on-net share for Q4 was 89% (80%), while the average voice on-net share was 63% (30%)

Ice Group builds out its network with Nokia 5G-ready equipment. In December, Ice Group launched its own 5G network with Oslo and Tromsø as the first two locations.

“We are very pleased to see that the quality of our network and the speed of the build-out are improving despite challenges related to the Covid-19 outbreak, especially in the first half of 2020,” adds Eivind Helgaker.

National roaming agreement reduces costs

Furthermore, the new national roaming agreement (NRA), with considerably improved terms, came into effect from 1 January 2021. This agreement will lower Ice Group’s national roaming costs considerably in 2021 compared to 2020.

“For example, for January 2021 our national roaming cost was NOK 14 million, which is 60% less than in January last year, despite having 12% more customers in January this year. This was contributing to an increase in adjusted EBITDA from NOK -28m in January 2020 to NOK 33m in January 2021, increasing the adjusted EBITDA margin from -17% to 18%, an increase of 35 percentage points,” adds Eivind Helgaker.

Updated EBITDA guidance

As a result of the continued positive development in customer growth, improved operational performance and the significantly reduced NRA costs, Ice Group aims to deliver an adjusted EBITDA margin of 15-20% in 2021.

“Higher data and voice on-net shares, lower national roaming costs and smartphone subscription growth remain key to realizing Ice Group’s business plan. We have now delivered 23 consecutive quarters of smartphone subscription growth and remain confident that we will continue to win market share and improve margins strongly going forward due to reduced national roaming costs, scale economics and increased competitiveness,” adds Eivind Helgaker.

Full-year 2020 results

For the full-year 2020, Ice Group had total operating revenues of NOK 2,094 million, up from NOK 1,859 million the year before. Total service revenue was NOK 1,910 million in 2020 compared to NOK 1,687 million in 2019. Smartphone service revenue was NOK 1,593 in 2020 versus NOK 1,363 the prior year. The adjusted EBITDA result in 2020 was NOK 41 million, a vast improvement from NOK -165 million in 2019.

Live webcast presentation at 08:00 CET

Ice Group invites to a live presentation of the results at 08:00 (CET) today. CEO Eivind Helgaker and CFO Henning Karlsrud will present. Investors, analysts, lenders and media are invited to follow the webcast on: https://channel.royalcast.com/landingpage/hegnarmedia/20210216_2/

A recording of the presentation will be available on Ice Group’s website shortly after the live webcast has ended.

For further information, please contact:

Media

Endre Aaberg Johansen, Corporate Communications AS, tel: +47 41 61 06 05, endre.johansen@corpcom.no

Investors

Henning Karlsrud, CFO of Ice Group, tel: +47 930 45 389

About Ice Group ASA

Ice Group is a telecommunications company with a nationwide network in Norway. The company operates a pure 4G mobile network, providing smartphone, m2m, IoT and mobile broadband services to B2C and B2B customers.

Disclaimer

This information is subject to the disclosure requirements pursuant to section 5-12 of the Norwegian Securities Trading Act.

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