About this weblog

What you need to know: This weblog captures key data points about the global telecoms industry. I use it as an electronic notebook to support my work for Pringle Media.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Handset and Digital Sales Help Telefónica

Telefónica reported a 2% year-on-year rise in revenues on an organic basis to 12.1 billion euros in the second quarter, fuelled by a 20% increase in handset sales and a 0.7% increase in service revenues. In particular, digital services revenues rose 28.5% to 1.7 billion euros in the quarter, boosted by enterprise demand for cloud and security services. The Madrid-based operator reiterated its guidance that revenues will grow 1% in 2018 on an organic basis. Capital spending was up 5.5% on an organic basis in the first half of 2018 to 3.9 billion euros.

José María Álvarez-Pallete, Executive Chairman, said: "We continue investing and expanding our ultra broadband networks. As of June, we have 47.3 million premises passed with proprietary FTTx/cable network, (+15% year-on-year), LTE coverage grew by 6 percentage points to an average 73% in all our footprint. Lastly, we remain convinced that the key levers to a sustainable digital future lie with our capacity to radically transform our networks, create a customer-centric digital ecosystem, establish digitalisation as the cornerstone for generating efficiencies and remain at the vanguard of cognitive intelligence." source: Telefónica statement

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Facebook Sees Sharp Slowdown in Growth

Facebook reported its revenue in the second quarter rose 38% year-on-year to 13.2 billion US dollars, on a constant currency basis. Noting that total revenue growth rate decelerated approximately seven percentage points in the second quarter compared with the first quarter, CFO David Wehner forecast that revenue growth rates will decline quarter-on-quarter by high single digit percentages in both the third and fourth quarters.

"There are several factors contributing to that deceleration," he said. "For example, we expect currency to be a slight headwind in the second half versus the tailwinds we have experienced over the last several quarters. We plan to grow and promote certain engaging experiences like Stories that currently have lower levels of monetisation. We are also giving people who use our services more choices around data privacy which may have an impact on our revenue growth."

However, Facebook did say that 2.5 billion people worldwide used one of its applications in June. "This is our best estimate of our de-duplicated audience across Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp," added Wehner. "We believe this number better reflects the size of our community and the fact that many people are using more than one of these services." Source: Facebook earnings call transcript

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Google More than Doubles Capex

Alphabet, owner of Google, reported a 23% year-on-year rise in revenues for the second quarter to 32.7 billion US dollars on a constant currency basis. Although the average fee advertisers on Google Properties paid per click fell 22% year-on-year, the number of clicks rose 58%. "In terms of dollar growth, results were led again by mobile search with strong contributions from both YouTube and desktop search," said Ruth Porat, CFO of Alphabet.

Capex leapt by 139% to 12.78 billion dollars in the first six months of 2018, as Alphabet invests in YouTube, cloud computing capacity and machine learning. Sundar Pichai, CEO of Alphabet, outlined the impact of machine learning on Google's apps, such as Google Maps: "Through our improvements in machine learning, we have seen a 25x increase in our ability to build maps algorithmically, and we have added 110 million algorithmically drawn buildings to Maps, since the beginning of this year. And with over 1 billion users, we’re continuing to see tremendous growth in maps with especially strong growth in countries like Indonesia, India and Nigeria, each of which are growing over 50% year-on-year." Source: Google statement and earnings call transcript

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Ericsson Sees Radio Access Market Contract

Ericsson forecast the radio access network (RAN) equipment market will decline by 2% for full-year 2018, but will achieve a 2% compound annual growth rate for the period between 2017 and 2022. "In 2018, the Chinese market is expected to decline due to reduced LTE investments, while there is positive momentum in North America," Ericsson added.

Ericsson reported a 1% year-on-year fall in sales for the second quarter on an organic basis to 49.8 billion Swedish krona (5.6 billion US dollars). "We have good market traction in networks, with a sales growth of 2%, particularly in North America where all major operators are preparing for 5G," Ericsson said. Source: Ericsson statement 

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Netflix Reports 130 Million Members

Netflix forecast that revenues will increase by 34% year-on-year in the current quarter, following a rise of 40% in the second quarter to 3.9 billion US dollars. The company reported that streaming revenue rose 43%, driven by a 26% increase in average paid memberships and a 14% rise in average selling prices.

Netflix said: "We had a strong, but not stellar, Q2, ending with 130 million memberships. Membership growth was 5.2 million, the same as Q2 last year, but lower than our 6.2 million forecast. .. we are starting to lead artistically in some categories, with our creators earning enough Emmy nominations this year to collectively break HBO’s amazing 17-year run." source: Netflix statement

Friday, May 11, 2018

Global Services Drags Down BT

BT Group reported a 1% fall in underlying revenue for the year to March 31st to 23.7 billion pounds (26.9 billion euros) and forecast a 2% fall for the year to March 31st, 2019.

The London-based company said the 3% growth in its consumer businesses was more than offset by decline in its enterprise divisions. "The main contributor to enterprise revenue decline was Global Services whose reported revenue declined 9% due to ongoing challenging market conditions and a reduction in IP Exchange volumes and equipment sales in line with our strategy to reduce low margin business."

Yet BT plans to increase capital expenditure from 3.5 billion British pounds in the past financial year to 3.7 billion pounds in this year. source: BT statement

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

iPhone X Lifts Apple Revenue

Apple forecast its revenue in the current quarter will reach between 51.5 billion and 53.5 billion US dollars, which would represent a year-on-year increase of between 12% and 18%.

For the quarter ending March 31, revenue rose 16% to 61.1 billion dollars, fuelled primarily by a 14% rise in iPhone revenues, even though shipments rose just 3%. Some of the difference is due to the high price of the latest model, the iPhone X, and Apple may also have benefitted from exchange rate movements.

Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, said. “Customers chose iPhone X more than any other iPhone each week in the March quarter, just as they did following its launch in the December quarter. We also grew revenue in all of our geographic segments, with over 20% growth in Greater China and Japan.” Service revenue, which includes revenue from digital content and services, AppleCare, Apple Pay and licensing, rose 31% to 9.2 billion dollars. source: Apple statement

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Amazon Prime Accelerates

Amazon forecast net sales will grow between 34% and 42% year-on-year in the current quarter to between 51 billion and 54 billion US dollars, boosted by a favourable impact of approximately 1.2 billion dollars or 320 basis points from foreign exchange rates.

In the first quarter of 2018, Amazon increased sales 39% year-on-year on an constant currency basis to 51 billion dollars in the first quarter. Amazon Web Services (AWS), the cloud computing business, generated a 49% increase in sales on a reported basis.

In a letter to shareholders, CEO Jeff Bezos revealed Amazon Prime now has more than 100 million paid members globally, 13 years after it was first launched. "In 2017 Amazon shipped more than five billion items with Prime worldwide, and more new members joined Prime than in any previous year – both worldwide and in the U.S.," he added. "Tens of thousands of customers are also using a broad range of AWS machine learning services, with active users increasing more than 250% in the last year, spurred by the broad adoption of Amazon SageMaker."

Bezos also said there are now more than 30,000 skills for Alexa (Amazon's voice controlled personal assistant) from outside developers, which can control more than 4,000 smart home devices from 1,200 brands. He added that Amazon has improved Alexa’s spoken language understanding by more than 25% over the past 12 months through "enhancements in Alexa’s machine learning components and the use of semi-supervised learning techniques. (These semi-supervised learning techniques reduced the amount of labeled data needed to achieve the same accuracy improvement by 40 times)."

The letter to shareholders also noted that Amazon Music now has tens of millions of paying customers. "Amazon Music Unlimited, our on-demand, ad-free offering, expanded to more than 30 new countries in 2017, and membership has more than doubled over the past six months," Bezos wrote.
Sources: Bezos letter to shareholders and Amazon statement