Sunrise revenue drops as CEO Olaf Swantee looks for Liberty deal

Switzerland-based telecom operator’s revenue fell 1.7 percent to 455 million francs during the second quarter of 2019.
Sunrise CEO Olaf Swantee
The company’s second-quarter net income rose to 27 million francs, from 24 million in the year-earlier period.

Sunrise has generated revenue of 302 million francs (–3.9 percent) from mobile services, 74 million francs (–6 percent) from landline services and 78 million francs (+13.3 percent) from landline Internet services.

Sunrise said its subscriber base reached 1.812 million (+9.5 percent) in mobile post-paid, 592K (-13.9 percent) in mobile pre-paid, 491K (+8.4 percent) in landline voice, 483K (+9.4 percent) in Internet and 263K (+14.8 percent) in TV business.

Olaf Swantee, CEO of Sunrise, said: “Our network leadership, customer momentum and solid adj. EBITDA growth all confirm our strategic focus on quality across our networks, services and products.”

Sunrise Communications on Thursday stepped up efforts to rescue its takeover of Liberty Global’s Swiss unit amid criticism from its top shareholder, saying it had found new synergies and could cut a planned rights issue to fund the deal.

German telecoms group Freenet, Sunrise’s largest investor, has called the all-cash 6.3 billion Swiss franc ($6.4 billion) takeover of UPC Switzerland unfavorable for Sunrise shareholders and has asked for the price to be cut and risks reallocated, Reuters reported.

Sunrise said it is expecting 280 million francs in annual synergies from buying the Liberty business, 45 million more than previously forecast.

One-off integration costs needed to achieve the higher synergies are expected to increase from 140-150 million to 230-250 million francs, Sunrise said.

The UPC deal, which Sunrise aims to close at the end of November, awaits approval from Swiss competition regulators, followed by a shareholders’ vote on the rights issue.

Sunrise is hoping UPC will help to compete with government-controlled Swisscom in Switzerland.

Liberty, set up by U.S. cable pioneer John Malone, has started the divestment of some of the assets. Liberty in December said it would sell its DTH satellite TV operations, which serves four eastern European markets, to M7 Group.