After another year of enormous challenges posed by the pandemic, on both an organizational and individual level, I am very proud to share the extraordinary achievements that our team at NOS has delivered, once again. We successfully upheld business continuity, keeping Portuguese families, companies and institutions connected and delivering the very highest standards of customer experience. Our results
in 2021 reiterate the critical importance of our sector to ensuring economic and social stability under situations of extreme adversity.
The year was inevitably marked by the seemingly never ending 5G auction from which we came out on top by acquiring the most available 5G spectrum of all participants and guaranteeing additional 4G spectrum to reinforce capacity. Our goals for the auction were met in full, materializing our strategic ambition to lead in 5G and in customer experience. We subsequently became the first operator to launch commercial 5G services in November providing our customers the opportunity to trial this gamechanging new technology, all around the country. Our aspiration is to have the very best network, accessible to all, and deliver more value to our customers and to Portugal, leading the way for more innovation and a more digital, sustainable and inclusive society.
Despite the adversities and uncertainty posed by varying degrees of confinement throughout the year, we delivered significant operational growth and extremely robust financial results, generating value for all our stakeholders. The level of RGU growth was the highest of the past 5 years, with strong additional mobile subscriptions. Our success results primarily from our relentless focus on customer experience and on providing the very best integrated value proposition, combining superior network capabilities, in fixed and mobile, with the very best multi-device user interface and content line-up. Convergent services continue to merit the preference of our customers, with more than 64% of fixed access customers choosing to take all their services in convergent bundles. Consolidated Revenues grew by 4.6% to more than 1.4 billion euros and EBITDA increased by 2.5% to 618 million euros, demonstrating the resilience of our core telco division
and significant recovery of our cinema activity due to the progressive easing of pandemic related restrictions.
We continue to invest in our next generation networks, reinforcing nationwide Gigabit fixed access capabilities whilst working on delivering more capacity, speed, and coverage to our mobile network. Our strategic network sharing agreements, in both fixed and mobile, are translating into significant enhancement in coverage and capacity, whilst ensuring material efficiencies through avoidance of
network investment and running costs, also contribution to environmental protection due to the reduction in number of sites to be deployed and sharing of current infrastructure. Our efforts to extend and modernize our network were publicly recognized in an independent survey by Ookla®, in 2021, distinguishing NOS as the fastest mobile network in Portugal. We dedicated significant resources to preparing our network and customers for 5G launch, advancing technical investments wherever possible and developing pilots to trial use cases for businesses, institutions, and individuals, paving the way for a truly digital society.
Driven by our ambition to build a more sustainable future, to be a leading reference in environmental, social and governance practices is a core objective of our corporate strategy. Strong governance and responsible management systems are central to our culture and represent the foundations upon which we build our strategic ambitions and effective action plans. As regards our sustainability strategy, during 2021 we made significant progress towards delivering on the United Nation’s Sustainable Development
Goals and adoption of the principles of the Global Compact, having committed to a number of even more ambitious short and medium term goals.
In terms of climate change ambition, we became the only Portuguese founding member of the “European Green Digital Coalition”, a movement that brings together leading IT and telecom companies with a common mission to reach carbon neutrality by 2040. We further reiterated the commitment to reduce our carbon footprint with our first time submission and validation of Science Based Targets in 2021, targeting a 90% reduction in own emissions (scope 1&2) and a 30% reduction in value chain emissions (scope 3)
by 2030, compared with a 2019 baseline.
To achieve our goals, we are already taking concrete and measurable action: we have approved the sourcing of 100% of all electricity consumed in our own operation from renewable energy sources by 2022 and identified and already started to implement measures to structurally reduce energy consumption such as a roadmap for full fleet electrification by 2030 and several initiatives targeting network and data centre emissions. Since the start of 2021, we are also voluntarily compensating unavoidable own fleet carbon emissions through a reforestation project in a fire devastated region in the centre of Portugal. At a product
and service level we continue to innovate with the launch of more planet friendly offerings, such as self-installation TV and Internet services, a new range of NOS guaranteed refurbished devices, a handset voucher exchange programme and introduction of only recycled plastic in new SIM cards, packaging, and equipment casings, contributing to improve our levels of business circularity.
We are firm believers in the power of technology to enable sustainable economic transformation and widely accessible and inclusive participation in society. As a key agent of change towards more sustainable practices, we aspire to transform lives through digital capacitation, ensuring broadband access for all, and promoting digital literacy and competency programmemes that will help consumers and companies take
full advantage of this transformational potential.
In 2021 we laid the foundations for a wide-reaching social responsibility programmeme to develop digital skills, particularly amongst more vulnerable segments of the population. We are also taking action to enhance team wellbeing and diversity, having implemented numerous employee targeted initiatives, diversity-balanced recruitment and mentoring programmemes, and proactive engagement with external feeder institutions, such as schools and universities, to encourage a higher proportion of women to embrace careers in STEM related areas. Our advancement in diversity related action was publicly validated with our first-time inclusion in the Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index (GEI) 2022, the reputed independent market index that tracks the performance of public companies committed to transparency in gender-data reporting.
A few words about this report. For the first time we are presenting an integrated management and sustainability report, combining a review of how we organize and govern our business, an analysis of what we consider to be our strategic and differentiating assets and of how we create long term value for our shareholders, customers, employees, partners and for society in general. Our goal is to provide an
integrated review of our organization and a solid basis for all stakeholders to assess our performance providing further evidence of our commitment to engage openly with all our stakeholders.
In conclusion, I would like to extend my sincere thanks to all on the NOS team and to my colleagues on the Executive Committee for embracing, without reserve, our vision for NOS and for giving their unconditional support towards achieving our strategic goals. I thank our customers, suppliers, partners, and shareholders for their continued trust and I would like to express my appreciation for the sound guidance and unanimous support of our Board of Directors and Governing Bodies throughout the year.