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Ingo Arnold,
Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

“We have hit the ground running faster than planned.”

We began the 2022 financial year by declaring our ambition to increase EBITDA to at least 520 million euros by the end of 2025 and adjusting the company’s strategy accordingly. This target corresponds to an annual average growth rate of more than 4 percent. Plans like these often only gain momentum towards the end of the period in question, once every underlying initiative has had a chance to take effect. This has not been the case at freenet, where we have been delivering results from the start. Generating EBITDA of 478.7 million euros for 2022, we once again delivered on our ambition after 2021 by achieving year-on-year growth of 7.0%, despite the fact that several of our growth drivers and recently-launched product innovations will only start contributing to freenet’s earnings growth in a meaningful way over the next few quarters and years. This includes the DAB+ digital radio service and Antenne Deutschland as well as freenet Internet, where DSL will soon be launched as an additional access technology alongside LTE, while several new strategic partnerships will also give a further boost in 2023. In short, we have hit the ground running faster than planned.

We are pursuing a “capex-light” strategy that aims to generate growth without making investments that weigh heavily on free cash flow.
bubble arnold

Right now, we are largely still profiting from the proven strength of our core Mobile Communications business, most notably our effective sales performance in new customer business and the high quality of our customer base. Our optimised organisational structure and the consistent digitalisation of our processes also give us an edge. We are pursuing a “capex-light” strategy that aims to generate growth without making investments that weigh heavily on free cash flow. Our Media Broadcast subsidiary also makes a consistently significant contribution via freenet TV and its infrastructure business. All of this makes us even more excited for the quarters and years ahead, when our new products and growth segments will also begin to be reflected in our earnings.

Our other financial performance indicators and balance sheet are also in good health. We are still converting more than 50% of our EBITDA into free cash flow, our leverage has fallen dramatically to less than 1.0x EBITDA, and our equity ratio also looks excellent at 40.5 percent. These are ideal conditions for continued healthy growth and rising dividend payments for our shareholders.

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