GO plc - Interim Results

On 31 August 2010 GO plc issued its 2010 interim results. During the first six months of 2010 the Group achieved an operating profit of €11.24 million – a significant improvement over last year’s €0.25 million loss. The Group explained that the 2009 half-year results included a number of one-off items which had no impact on the Group’s 2010 results.  GO stated that the strong improvement in the operating performance is due to improved revenues as well as lower costs. In fact, Group revenues climbed 7.2% to €64.2 million after GO experienced strong growth in broadband, data and TV services, which compensated for the decline in traditional fixed-voice services. Moreover, revenue from the BM companies (in which GO acquired 60% shareholding in April 2009) amounted to €4.89 million and represents a key growth area for the Group.

During the period under review, GO managed to significantly reduce its cost of sales and administrative expenses with the main reductions coming from payroll and various discretionary cost items. However the reduction in costs was mitigated by increased electricity expense and costs related to increased sales activity, primarily TV.

Group EBITDA before significant one-off items climbed 16.5% to €23.13 million during the period under review when compared to €19.86 million registered during the same period last year.

The Group however, incurred a €7.03 million loss from its share of results of its investment in Forthnet SA through its joint venture with Forgendo Ltd (H1 2009: loss of €3.7 million). During the period under review, Forgendo increased its shareholding in the Greek telecoms company to 39.9% from the previous 37.1%. Forthnet’s 2010 interim results, which were also announced today, were negatively impacted by the Greek economic situation and the financial measures that Greece took to address the financial crisis. Within this backdrop, Forthnet focused its efforts on exploiting the investments it made during 2009 in broadband access and content rights and pursuing a strategy aimed at increasing its overall client base. As a result of this strategy, Forthnet’s customer base reached 391,000 whilst active PayTV subscribers amounted to 342,000. The increase in overall subscriber base had a positive impact on revenue which amounted to €198.76 million – an increase of 10.4% over the first six months of 2009.

GO plc incurred a loss after tax of €5.22 million compared to a loss after tax of €4.86 million during the first six months of 2009.

In the 2010 Half-Year Report GO plc explained that its customer connections are fast approaching the 500,000 milestone as a result of growth in broadband, TV and mobile connections together with the strong retention of traditional fixed-voice connections. The Group is confident that it can further reinforce its leading position in the market as it launches various premium TV products during the second half of 2010. Meanwhile, the Group is pursuing an extensive investment strategy that will allow it to offer new innovative products in the coming years. These investments are aimed at ensuring that the Group continues to be the leader in voice and data services through both fixed and mobile networks as well as in the provision of digital terrestrial TV services.

The Directors did not recommend the payment of an interim dividend.

Download a copy of GO 2010 Interim Results.

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