In Q3 2023 Polsat Plus Group continued its development in all segments of its operations: it has introduced the 5G Ultra data technology with data speeds of up to 1 Gbps, Netia’s fiber-optic connections have accelerated to 2 Gpbs, TV Polsat acquired the broadcasting rights to Polish handball league matches, while Polsat Box Go saw addition of a new Start bundle, offered at the price of 30 PLN per year. Also first in Poland publicly accessible hydrogen refueling stations have been opened, while the wind farms in Miloslaw and Kazimierz Biskupi started generating electricity.
Major events in Q3 2023:
- 5G Ultra is a novelty for Plus customers – the maximum data downloading speed in Plus’s 5G network increased to 1 Gbps, with over 4.2 million of Poland’s inhabitants living within the 5G Ultra service coverage footprint and a total of 20 million people having access to 5G network services.
- Google Cloud and Polsat Plus Group announced a strategic partnership which will see Google sign its first in Poland contract for the purchase of clean and green energy to be supplied from Przyrów wind farm. Thanks to implementing Google Cloud solutions, Polsat Plus Group will accelerate its technological development and digital transformation.Acquisition of a controlling stake in PAK-PCE power engineering company via which Polsat Plus Group implements its projects in the areas of clean electricity and green hydrogen.
- Netia has accelerated the data speed in its fiber-optic network to as much as 2 Gbps for data downloading and to as much as 1 Gbps for data uploading, which is the highest data transfer rate among the operators offering nationwide services in Poland.
- Polsat Box Go streaming service added a new bundle called Start which is offered at a promotional price of only 30 PLN annually, or 2.5 PLN monthly. Polsat Box Go Start service offers access to more than 40 thousand hours of favorite TV series, reality shows, as well as to unique entertainment and many exciting novelties from more than 20 Polsat TV channels.
- Polsat Plus Group has strengthened its position in the media segment by acquiring a majority stake in the companies which own naEKRANIE.pl web service as well as the three TV 4FUN channels – 4FUN.TV, 4FUN KIDS and 4FUN DANCE.
- Polsat TV signed a contract for the broadcasting rights to ORLEN Superliga and Women’s ORLEN Superliga handball league matches for the coming seven seasons, i.e. till 2030.
- Polish Olympic Committee and Polsat Plus Group signed an agreement thanks to which Polsat Plus Group and Plus mobile network, which is owned by the Group, will be the Sponsor of the Polish Olympic Committee and the Polish National Olympic Team. Plus will be supporting Polish Olympians during the coming 4 years, including during the XXXIII Summer Olympiad – the 2024 Paris Olympic Games and the XXV Winter Olympiad – the 2026 Milan-Cortina d’Ampezzo Olympic Games.
“Plus’s 5G network has accelerated to even as much as 1 Gbps, or the data speed offered by fiber-optic lines. Thanks to the spectrum in the 3.6 GHz frequency band we will continue developing our 5G network. By aggregating the new frequency band with the bands that we have been using we will be able to offer even faster and better 5G services to our customers. The partnership with Google Cloud offers in turn new development opportunities for our Group thanks to cloud-based solutions. We have also launched new projects in the green energy segment while dynamically pursuing our Strategy 2023+ in this specific area,” sums up Mirosław Błaszczyk, the President of the Management Board of Cyfrowy Polsat and Polkomtel, Polsat Plus Group.
B2C and B2B services segment – consistent implementation of multiplay strategy
Polsat Plus Group provides, in total, more than 20 million telecommunication and TV services (RGUs), with nearly 2.5 million customers using multiplay services and enjoying the tangible financial benefits which stem from bundling of Polsat Box and Plus services. Average revenue per contract customer increased by 2.2 PLN year-on-year (3.1%) and reached 73.5 PLN, while churn in B2C segment remains unchangeably low, at 7.5% annually. The ARPU generated from prepaid services remains at a stable, high level of 17.9 PLN.
“We have a high base of multiplay customers in spite of unfavorable market conditions. Our multiplay offers are used by nearly 2.5 million subscribers, or 42% of all our customers,” says Maciej Stec, Vice-President of the Management Board responsible of Polsat Plus Group’s strategy. “Thanks to the consistent pursuit of our multiplay strategy as well as growing popularity of 5G, ARPU continues to grow in the contract customers and B2B segments, while churn remains at a low level of 7.5%. Our partnership with Google will in turn enable us to offer – mainly via Netia and Octawave who specialize in providing cloud-based solutions – Google Cloud solutions, especially to our Group’s business clients,” adds Maciej Stec.
Polsat Plus Group serves nearly 70 thousand B2B clients. Thanks to the successively expanded offer of communication and data communication services, the average revenue per unit for this group of customers increased by 2.2% year-on-year, to the level of nearly 1.5 thousand PLN monthly..
Media segment: TV and online services –portfolio development
The total audience share of TV Polsat channels was 22.2% in Q3 2023, including 7.2% share held by the main Polsat channel and 15% share held by theme channels, while during the 9 months of 2023 the overall audience share was 22%, including 7.7% for the main channel and 14.3% for theme channels.
TV Polsat’s revenue generated from advertising and sponsoring grew by 4.7% in Q3, reaching 288 million PLN, while the share in the TV advertising market reached 29%. The revenue increased by 4.4%, to 917 million PLN, over the first 9 months of the year, while the share in the TV advertising and sponsoring market reached 28.6%.
On the average Polsat Interia Group’s Internet services were accessed by 20.5 million users monthly who generated nearly 2 billion page views.
“The audience results for our channels, both during Q3 as well as during the first 9 months of the year, were in line with our strategy, while our revenue from TV advertising increased during both periods at a mid-range single-digit rate, thus enabling us to post a high share in the TV advertising market,” says Stanisław Janowski, President of the Management Board of TV Polsat, a Polsat Plus Group company. “By acquiring the 3 4FUN TV stations we have expanded our channel portfolio to 42. Thanks to the development of Interia.pl and addition of naEKRANIE.pl portal to our Group, we have continued consolidation of our leading position on the Internet publishers market,” adds Stanisław Janowski.
Fast growth in the area of green energy projects
Polsat Plus Group has been dynamically implementing the initiatives associated with the production of green energy as well as the development of the full hydrogen value chain.
The wind farms located in Milosław and Kazimierz Biskupi started electricity production in mid-Q3. Expansion of the solar energy farm in Brudzew was completed. The farm now offers 82.4 MWp of power (versus 70 MWp earlier).
In Q3 we produced 191 GWh of green energy, including 28 GWh of solar power, the first 6 GWh of wind-generated electricity and 157 GWh from biomass burning.
First in Poland, publicly-accessible hydrogen refueling stations for cars and buses have been put into operation in Warsaw and Rybnik. Further stations are being constructed in Gdansk and Gdynia, while Wroclaw and Lublin are the next two cities on the map of the projects which are implemented jointly by Polsat Plus Group and ZE PAK power company. The hydrogen refueling network is being developed under the NESO brand. NESO is an acronym for the Polish phrase “Nie Emituję Spalin, Oczyszczam” (Emits no Exhaust Fumes, Purifies the Air).
The construction of the factory of hydrogen buses manufactured by Polsat Plus Group and ZE PAK. 20 was completed in Swidnik. 20 NesoBuses will delivered to Rybnik still this year with further 10 going to Gdansk next year.
“We have been dynamically pursuing our Strategy 2023+ in the green energy segment. In less than two years we have been able to launch wind farms in Miłosław and Kazimierz Biskupi which offer 27 MW of power. We added further 12.4 MWp of power to our photovoltaic energy farm in Brudzew, which now offers 82.4 MWp in total. We have already installed 23 out of 33 turbines planned for installation at our wind farm in Człuchow, bringing its total power 72.6 MW, with the launch of the farm planned for Q2 2024. The total installed power which we offer today is 215 MW and in Q3 alone we generated and sold 191 GWh of green energy,” says Maciej Stec, Vice-President of the Management Board responsible of Polsat Plus Group’s strategy. We have been dynamically developing the value chain for the green hydrogen-based economy. We have installed a 2.5-megawatt electrolyzer. First publicly-accessible hydrogen refueling stations in Poland were opened in Warsaw and Rybnik. Also our hydrogen-powered bus factory was opened in Swidnik, with production capacity of 100 units per year. 20 hydrogen buses will be delivered to Rybnik still this year with another 10 going to Gdansk next year,” adds Maciej Stec.
Polsat Plus Group’s financial results – growth of revenue
Polsat Plus Group’s revenue, supported by the consolidated results of PAK-PCE Group, increased by 5.6% year-on-year in Q3 and reached nearly 3.5 billion PLN, with the adjusted EBITDA at 775 million PLN. Adjusted free cash flow for a 12-month period was at the level of ca. 480 million PLN with the total debt ratio of 3.4x (net debt /EBITDA LTM, excluding project-related financing).
“It is the first quarter during which we have been consolidating the PAK-PCE Group’s financial results and we can already see the positive impact of the green energy sector which added 296 million PLN to the Group’s consolidated revenue. Also the revenue in the media segment continued to increase, mainly thanks to the growing revenue from advertising and sponsoring. Effective financial management is our priority, so as to be able to pursue in a fast and effective manner the projects planned in our Strategy 2023+,” says Katarzyna Ostap-Tomann, a Management Board Member responsible for finance in Cyfrowy Polsat and the Vice-President responsible for finance in Polkomtel, Polsat Plus Group. “We have successfully carried out another ESG-related bond issue for the amount of 820 million PLN, and thus the total value of our green bonds on the market is 3.5 billion PLN,” adds Katarzyna Ostap-Tomann.