Swisscom results show big drop in profit

Two weeks after the shock suicide of CEO Carsten Schloter, telecoms giant Swisscom has presented its results for the first six months of the year.

Swisscom results show big drop in profit
Swisscom is the country's biggest phone company. Photo: Swisscom

The figures presented on Wednesday show a 10 percent drop in profit, the SDA news service reported.

Switzerland’s biggest phone company said it planned to name a replacement for 49-year-old Schloter by the end of the year.

The majority state-owned firm said it had set up a nomination committee to decide on a successor.

Schloter’s former deputy, Urs Schaeppi,has been running the company since July 23rd when Schloter was found dead.

In the first half of the year Swisscom saw sales fall slightly to 5.59 billion francs, SDA said. Net profit stood at 819 million francs – 9.7 percent less than a year ago.

Swisscom blamed the fall on competition in Switzerland and lower revenue from roaming fees.

The costs of winning new customers had risen, as had expenditure on network maintenance and IT.

Despite lower revenue from traditional businesses, Swisscom was optimistic for the future.

“Our results are solid and we are on track,” Schaeppi said in a media release.

“We’ll continue to pursue our strategy with a strong focus on customer service and innovation, and despite ongoing competition and price pressure we are confident about the second half of the year."

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Swisscom to start charging 2.90 francs for paper bills

Swiss telecommunications giant Swisscom is set to introduce new fees for customers who wish to receive a simple, non-itemized hard copy of their latest bill.

Swisscom to start charging 2.90 francs for paper bills
Swisscom has justified the new charges by saying they are standard industry practice. Photo: AFP

Until now, customers have been able to receive one of these basic bills for free, but as of October 1st, a fee of 2.90 Swiss francs (around €2.60) will apply.

At the same time, the current fee of 1.50 francs for receipt of a detailed bill will rise to 2.90 francs.

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Meanwhile, people wishing to pay their bills over the counter at a post office will have to shell out 3.90 francs as of October 1st.

Customers affected by the changes will be notified on all their bills before the new charges come in.

Holders of basic service products including Swisscom Line Basic and Swisscom Internet Basic will be exempt from the new charges.

In a statement on the new fees on its website, Swisscom said that printed bills cost the company millions every year and that these costs should not be passed on to all customers.

The same applied to costs associated with over-the-counter services at post offices, the company said.

Swisscom also justified the changes by stating these were now standard industry practice.

Rival provider UPC charges 3 francs for sending out paper bills and up to 7.50 francs for paying bills at the post office. Salt charges 2 francs a month for sending out basic bills and 5 francs a month for detailed bills. Salt also charges 3.95 francs to customers who want to pay their bills at the post office.

For Sunrise, paper bills cost 3 francs for the basic version and 4 francs for a detailed version. Payment with a so-called red slip costs 5 francs whether this is done online or in a post office.

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