Letter from the CEO

Letter from the CEO

Solid performance in 2010

2010 was another year of very solid financial performance by TDC. In a challenging market, TDC delivered revenue growth of 0.3% and EBITDA growth of 2.2%, thereby living up to the guidance provided for the year. Equity Free Cash Flow generation was very strong and reached DKK 4.5bn. Adjusted for the impact of timing of tax payments in 2009, this corresponds to 34.4% Equity Free Cash Flow growth, which bears witness to a strong underlying development in our operational efficiency. 

High historical investment levels and comprehensive ongoing investment plans

As in previous years, TDC maintained a high level of investment in our infrastructure, with capex totalling DK 3,534m (13.5% capex-to-revenue). During the year we further strengthened our fibre (FttX), cable, and mobile turbo 3G networks, which remain our investment priorities alongside the ongoing upgrade of our IT platforms. In addition, in 2010, TDC instigated the roll-out of LTE/4G initially covering the six largest cities in Denmark. This follows the successful acquisition of an LTE licence and 2x20 MHz spectrum in the 2.5 GHz range in the spring. We will launch our first 4G products and services later this year.

These recent infrastructure investments form part of TDC’s plans to invest DKK 25bn in Danish infrastructure by 2020. This comprehensive medium-term investment programme will allow us to continue to offer our Danish customers market-leading innovation and advanced, high-quality products. It will also go a long way towards supporting the ambition stated by the Danish government that all Danish households should have access to 100 Mbps broadband speeds by 2020. TDC is ready to fulfil its role as the backbone of a Danish communications society that is among the most advanced and digitalised globally.

Sustaining leading market positions

In the domestic market, price competition has continued to intensify during 2010. In this environment, TDC's strong portfolio of brands has proven its strength as we have managed to sustain our leading market positions. In mobility services, TDC grew its retail revenue-generating-unit (RGU) base by 2.7% in 2010. In the landline market, we successfully defended our base of 1.3 million retail broadband RGUs and reduced total line loss by 19% through a range of initiatives that successfully reduced PSTN churn and improved our ability to transfer PSTN churners to IP products. At the same time, we continue to see the number of RGUs per active line rising as we promote our successful multi-play IP products, HomeDuo and HomeTrio and strengthen our cross-selling efforts. At the beginning of 2009 we had 1.36 RGUs per line and by the end of 2010 this figure had risen to 1.43 RGUs per line.

Growth markets

TDC continues to fuel growth in digital TV and mobile data through investments in infrastructure, innovation, and marketing. In 2010, our combined TV business (YouSee cable TV and TDC IP-TV) grew its revenue organically by 17%. In particular, we saw a significant uptake in digital TV functionalities and on-demand services; for the full year, the number of movie rentals through our video-on-demand services had soared by 217%. In mobile data, revenue increased on the back of continued growth in mobile broadband (dongles) and smartphone data usage; in the last quarter of 2010, close to 70% of handsets sold by our Consumer division were smartphones.

In TDC Nordic, we saw strong like-for-like revenue and EBITDA growth of 6.5% and 7.4%, respectively, driven by our IP-VPN, mobile, and system integrator businesses as well as continued operational improvements. In Sweden and Finland as well as in TDC Hosting, we made significant progress towards further expanding our presence as a supplier to public-sector customers throughout the Nordic region.

Customer focus and organisational strength

Our efforts to fundamentally strengthen TDC's and YouSee's customer service continue under the TAK improvement programme. Good progress has been made in many areas, with Fullrate and Telmore continuing to enjoy the highest customer satisfaction scores in the Danish telecoms market. However considerable work remains to be done and we will continue to focus on our processes, technology platforms and products to make sure we offer our customers the experience that they should rightfully expect from us.

2010 has been a demanding year for the TDC organisation – it was a year when we delivered very solid results in a challenging market environment while achieving extensive operational improvements and financial milestones, such as our solid investment grade credit rating. TDC’s employees deserve significant credit for all these achievements. It should be noted that during 2010, we have seen employee satisfaction reach the highest level recorded since the current employee survey was launched back in 2005 – and we will continue to strive to improve in this respect every year.

Reaching strategic milestones

Last but not least, in 2010 TDC successfully reached two significant strategic milestones. In October, TDC announced the divestment of its Swiss subsidiary, Sunrise, thereby completing the journey towards becoming a focused Nordic communications company. On 13 December, TDC’s majority shareholder, NTC sold 210 million shares in the company in one of the largest equity transactions in Europe during 2010. This reduced NTC's stake in TDC to 59.1% and allowed several hundred institutional investors across the globe as well as thousands of domestic retail investors to invest in the Company.

For TDC, 2011 will be another year with a relentless, disciplined focus on operational improvements, continued investments in the innovation, infrastructure, brands, and the people that comprise TDC’s strong foundation and, not least, achieving the results in compliance with our commitment to our shareholders.

CEOfoto.jpg

Henrik Poulsen

CEO & President
TDC A/S

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