VodafoneZiggo closed the 2022 financial year with solid fourth-quarter results. VodafoneZiggo has had a successful year in which the telecom company achieved all of its financial goals in a challenging market. The company is also in good operational health. This is due in part to the completion in 2022 of the nationwide operation to connect almost 7.5 million households and businesses to Ziggo’s fast 1Gbps network. For years, VodafoneZiggo’s fixed and mobile networks have been among the very best in the world. This has also resulted in the continuous growth of business customers on the fixed network and an increase in mobile subscribers.
VodafoneZiggo's turnover was 1.0 billion euros in the fourth quarter of 2022. This is virtually identical to the previous quarter. The operational business result (henceforth: adjusted EBITDA) for the last quarter has also remained roughly the same as the previous quarter at 478 million euros.
The total turnover for the entire year 2022 was almost equivalent to 2021 at 4.1. billion euros rounded off. The adjusted EBITDA over 2022 stayed the same as 2021 at 1.9 billion euros. VodafoneZiggo invested 23% of turnover in 2022 – the so-called Capex to Sales Ratio. This is considerably more than in 2021, when this ratio was 20.5%.
Ritchy Drost, CFO of VodafoneZiggo: “In 2022, we reinvested 23% of our revenue - in our fixed and mobile networks, products and services. This is our highest level of investment ever - nearly 1 billion euro. And we continue to invest. We see the number of total customers for broadband growing again, and the number of mobile subscriptions is still rising. We also continue to build on our networks; we are the first provider in the Netherlands to offer 1 Gbps internet connections - to almost 7.5 million households and businesses. We also continue to increase speeds for our customers year on year.”
Speeds increasing year on year
Each year, Ziggo increases the speed of the network on the basis of customer demand. This happened in 2022 and will happen again from May 2023. Notably, upload speeds in particular will increase by 40% this year for a number of subscriptions.
Looking ahead (”guidance”) to 2023
Last year, the Netherlands was faced with high inflation, mainly caused by rising energy costs. VodafoneZiggo was able to absorb this in 2022 through cost savings. In 2023, the company expects inflation to have a greater impact on the EBITDA. In addition, VodafoneZiggo continues to invest in quality and connecting new customers, which will result in an investment percentage between 21% and 23%. Revenues are expected to rise again and cash flow to remain robust.
Operational highlights in 2022
- 1.6 million users of SmartWifi pods
In 2022, the number of households using SmartWifi pods rose to a total of 1.6 million. The prevalence of homeworking and online gaming has made a fast and reliable wireless network in the home increasingly important. VodafoneZiggo anticipates that by the end of 2023 almost 60% of households will be using SmartWifi pods.
- Best range of sports and entertainment
In late 2022, the exclusive TV rights were obtained on behalf of Ziggo Sport for the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League and UEFA Europa Conference League from 2024. For both Ziggo Sport and VodafoneZiggo, this is a significant step towards providing the best range in sports and entertainment. We are continuing to expand this: for example, in late 2022 Ziggo Sport acquired the exclusive TV rights for ATP tennis. And, in early 2023, the exclusive TV rights for the PGA Tour and DP World Tour golf tournaments.
The entertainment offering also continues to grow: From this week, HBO Max subscribers can find this provider’s offerings more easily in the menu of the Mediabox Next and Mini. Along with the introduction of Disney+ in December 2022, we can offer our customers the full range of their favourite streaming services in one place.
- Number of converged customers continues to grow
The number of ‘converged’ customers combining the fixed and mobile services of Ziggo and Vodafone increased again in 2022 by almost 35,000 new users. In total, more than 1.5 million customers are now connected to or through our two brands.
- Media box exchange programme speeds up
Since 2022, VodafoneZiggo has been replacing the old media boxes with the new generation of smaller, low-energy devices at an accelerated rate. 1.9 million customers now have a Mediabox Next or a Next Mini. The Mediabox Next Mini is more energy efficient and consists of 85% recycled material. We also pack it tightly in cardboard in order to use as few packaging materials as possible, significantly reducing plastic use.
- New CLA for 7,000 employees
In November, VodafoneZiggo agreed a new CLA for its 7,000 permanent employees. This CLA has a term of two years, from January 2022 to December 2023. In December 2022 and January 2023, the full-time employees received a net payment of 500 euros each. From January, the CLA salaries increased by 2% plus 75 euros gross per month. VodafoneZiggo is raising all salaries (collective increase) on 1 July 2023 for a second time, by 3%.
- Partnership with Ziggo Dome extended for 10 years
Ziggo extended its partnership with the Ziggo Dome by ten years in July 2022. In the years ahead, the two parties will intensify their partnership. Ziggo is expanding its Priority customer programme and, together with the Ziggo Dome, is establishing a fund to enable the staging of new concerts and innovative events in the coming years.
- Vodafone launches Network Slicing: capacity always available for business customers
In September 2022, Vodafone introduced Network Slicing for the business market. Network Slicing is a technology that divides the availability of the public mobile network into several ‘slices’. Vodafone business customers can reserve such a ‘slice’ of capacity for their own essential business processes. This will guarantee that their mobile connection continues to function stably.
- Digital inclusion: everyone should be able to join in online
In 2022, digital inclusion was also a key objective - VodafoneZiggo wants to ensure that everyone can take part in the digital community.
Thanks to our Welcome Online programme for older adults and Online Masters for young people, VodafoneZiggo reaches around 200,000 people each year. VodafoneZiggo is introducing a free teaching module for pupils in special secondary education (voortgezet speciaal onderwijs, VSO) to help them become skilled, safe and aware online.
In 2022, VodafoneZiggo announced that Vodafone and Ziggo stores would be used to help people with their “digital issues”. The store employees receive additional training for this. We will continue to develop this in 2023.
- More data and faster internet with lower energy consumption
In total, VodafoneZiggo consumes around 283 GWh of power each year, equivalent to that of a city such as Eindhoven. VodafoneZiggo intends to cut its energy consumption annually, while the demand for data and faster internet increases further. In total, more than 100 sustainable initiatives have been identified in order to reduce our footprint.