KPN’s turnover grew by 0.2 percent in the past quarter. And that is special, because for years less money came in to the telecom company.
How long it has been since the turnover last grew, we have to dig into the archives for that. “I also asked that question myself,” says KPN boss Joost Farwerck, “and then people all look at me a bit hazy. So we are still figuring that out.”
Perhaps it was also a little easier to grow this quarter compared to the same period last year, because things did not go very well then, partly due to the pandemic. For example, less money came in because network projects were delayed, and fewer calls were made to the Netherlands from abroad. Turnover fell almost 5 percent in the spring of 2020.
Yet, according to Farwerck, it is not thanks to this lesser period that the company is now able to record the first growth in ages. “We’ve been in a shrinking trend for a long time. It’s not like that started last year.”
More data and fiberglass
He points to the positive developments. For example, the company is increasingly selling telephone plans with unlimited data usage, increasing its revenue for consumer mobile services for the first time in four years.
In addition, the construction of the fiber optic network is speeding up. At the end of 2020, at the presentation of the new strategy, KPN already announced that it aims to provide four out of five houses in the Netherlands with a fiber optic connection ‘in time’.
To this end, KPN set up the glass fiber company Glaspoort this year together with pension manager APG. Together they connect about 200,000 homes per year, on top of the 480,000 that KPN does itself.
With that pace, KPN says it will achieve its goal of connecting 80 percent of homes in the Netherlands to fiber by 2026. And that is faster than expected, says Farweck.
Investing in fiber and mobile
All together, there was also more profit left under the line in recent months, namely 800 million euros. This is largely due to the book profit generated by the establishment of Glaspoort KPN, but the underlying net profit also grew by 20 percent. And that compared to last year, when even in spite of the bad conditions, profits already grew a bit.
“If you invest a lot in networks such as fiber optic and mobile, it pays off in the long term. And if you get customers, it ultimately yields an improved net result.”
Customers more satisfied
Customer satisfaction, an important spearhead for the telecom company, has not been going well lately. It fell to its lowest point in four years at the end of last year and remained at that point at the beginning of this year.
Much has now been invested in this, says Farwerck. “We have done a lot to support our colleagues who work in the service centers and our people who have to go to the customers. In times of corona it is very difficult to work. You have to work under special restrictions or you are at home on your own to serve customers with a headset on. We added a lot of people and provided a lot of support.”
As a result, customers with questions or problems were helped faster. This also ensured that the so-called NPS satisfaction score among consumers rose from 11 to 14 points.
Research on eavesdropping
Meanwhile, an investigation into possible wiretapping is still ongoing. De Volkskrant previously reported that Chinese Huawei was able to listen in on conversations at the Dutch telecom company in the past, but KPN says this has never been established.
The Telecom Agency, part of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, has now started an investigation. Farwerck said he is working with the agency and expects the investigation to be completed in early September.
KPN revenue growth for the first time in ‘I don’t know how long’
Source link KPN revenue growth for the first time in ‘I don’t know how long’