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by R. Witzler and E. Haidt, Euro am Sonntag
E.The ball is finally rolling. The postponed European Football Championship is on, and one of the winners has already been determined: Deutsche Telekom. Their streaming service Magenta TV attracts customers with the transmission of all EM games. That should induce some to quickly take out a subscription, especially since the stadiums let in few spectators, football in the pub does not offer the pleasure of previous years due to Corona restrictions, not to mention public viewing.
“With us you get all the games of the European Football Championship live and in Ultra HD,” says Telekom CFO Christian Illek. The Bonn team have ten exclusive games, including those of European champions Portugal against world champions France next Wednesday, the toughest opponents of the German team in the “group of deaths” F.
Illek is also otherwise in a good mood. The share is trading near its four-year high. The rating outlook has just been upgraded by Moody’s. And business is pretty much going well on all channels.
In the first quarter, for example, group sales rose by around a third to 26.4 billion euros, without the takeover of US rival Sprint, the plus was a good seven percent. The adjusted operating profit (Ebitda) increased organically by a good eight percent to 9.2 billion euros.
The growth engine was again the mobile communications subsidiary T-Mobile US. The share of sales-able Americans in sales is now over 60 percent. Through a voting rights agreement with the Japanese Softbank, the Bonn-based company is in control, although they only own 43 percent. Driven by strong revenue growth to $ 19.8 billion from the Sprint acquisition, T-Mobile US’s adjusted operating income (Ebitda) shot to $ 5.9 billion in the quarter. Boss Mike Sievert screwed up the outlook for 2021 in terms of customer numbers, synergies and profit. The Ebitda should be between $ 22.8 billion and $ 23.2 billion.
Kraft for buybacks
The synergies from the Sprint integration should amount to 7.5 billion dollars per year in the long term. It was six billion in the original forecast. Since service revenues are also likely to grow more strongly in the next few years, the adjusted Ebitda is expected to grow to $ 28 to 29 billion in 2023. More than 36 billion are on the plan for 2026. That offers the opportunity to spend up to $ 60 billion on share buybacks from 2023 to 2025.
Business outside the US also developed well. The number of fiber-optic connections in Germany rose by 1.5 million to 16.3 million. In addition, Telekom gained 167,000 contract customers in mobile communications. After T-Mobile US had raised the forecast, Telekom boss Tim Höttges also screwed the outlook for adjusted operating profit outside the USA by 100 million up to 14.4 billion euros.
With the Americans, the Bonn-based company want to increase group sales by an average of one to two percent per year until 2024. The adjusted earnings per share should increase to more than 1.75 euros by then, compared to 1.20 euros for 2020. Höttges plans to distribute 40 to 60 percent of this as a dividend. Because of this prospect, shareholders are already among the winners – regardless of who survives Group F or who ultimately becomes European champion.
Perspective: Business is going well on both sides of the Atlantic. Share buybacks and higher dividends make the stock attractive.
More news about Softbank Corp.
Image sources: Deutsche Telekom, M DOGAN / Shutterstock.com