July 26 (Reuters) - Belgian telecomunications group Orange Belgium on Wednesday reported a 3.5 percent increase in second-quarter blended average revenue per user (ARPU), despite the new roaming regulation from the European Union and declining SMS traffic.
“This increase in ARPU is achieved thanks to a more favourable customer mix between postpaid and prepaid and a sustained increase of the postpaid ARPU,” the Belgian division of French telecoms group Orange said in a statement.
In June, the European Union abolished roaming charges for using mobile phones when travelling within its borders, causing uproar among big telecom companies which lobbied to maintain what had been a significant source of revenue for them.
Its shares rose 3.2 percent to 21.16 euros by 0824 GMT, also supported by a government deal in Belgium to cut corporation taxes.
Mobile service revenues for the April-June quarter grew 3.6 percent year-on-year to 248.1 million euros ($288.4 million).
“[The second quarter] shows very strong mobile service revenue in Belgium, and that drops through to EBITDA with costs about in line with expectations,” Jefferies analysts said in a note to clients.
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) amounted to 85.7 million euros, down from 91.7 million a year earlier. Revenues rose 3.5 percent to 310.0 million euros from 299.4 million in the same period of 2016.
Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast EBITDA of 77.2 million euros on revenues of 305.0 million euros.
$1 = 0.8601 euros Reporting by Piotr Lipinski, editing by Louise Heavens