The Board of Directors of Play Communications S.A. (the “Company”, “Play”), hereby informs that after 3 weeks of operations in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic in Poland, the Company is providing a preliminary evaluation of the impact of the crisis on its operations and financials in March 2020.
After the lockdown decided by the Polish government on 13th of March and compared to previous week, voice traffic in Play’s network increased by 34% and data traffic by 19%, with peaks up to 50%, without any impact on the quality of service. For comparison: regular data consumption in Play network has grown by 25-30% per annum, while voice traffic has been broadly stable.
With approximately half of Play’s points of sales closed, traffic in the sales network decreased between the first and last week of March. In the meantime, traffic on Play’s website increased while number of active Play24 accounts exceeded 5 million, partially offsetting the impact of stores closure.
The initial observations on the Company’s operations and financials are summarized as following. Service revenue in March was few percent higher than planned, driven mainly by increase in traffic from other operators. International roaming revenue and costs in March were comparable to pre-pandemic months. ARPU in March was a few percent higher than expected, in both contract and prepaid segments. Revenue from sales of handsets was ~30% lower than planned in March. Operating costs were well contained. Altogether, Play’s adjusted EBITDA in Q1 has only marginally deviated from expectations. The investment process and capex spend are well on track and so is cash generation.
At this stage the Company does not have a basis to amend the full year guidance for 2020 and will provide more detailed info with its 2020 Q1 Results.
Finally, Play took many initiatives over the last 3 weeks of March to support its customers, in particular seniors over 65 years of age, students and business customers. The Company has opened 35 additional Emergency Customer Intervention Points, offered free transmission packages and free access to some PLAY NOW premium TV channels. Additionally, Play decided to allocate PLN 1 million to the Intervention Fund of WOŚP to support Polish hospitals.
Play has enabled home working for most of its employees, including call centres and IT teams. The employees working in the points of sales, the warehouse or in network operations, apply and respect all safety rules recommended by the Government and the Ministry of Health.
Legal basis: Art 17 MAR