NOS has come a long way since the merger in 2013, which successfully brought together two organizations with very different operational legacies and cultures, whilst competing in one of the most advanced and highly invested telecom landscapes in the world. After a period of strong growth in revenues and accelerated market share gains, led by the mass-market take up of convergent offers and which enabled us to exceed our original 30% revenue market share target well ahead of schedule, our focus today is to consolidate our position as the leading entertainment and communications company in Portugal. We are leveraging our unique combination of telco and audiovisuals assets whilst transforming our business to become a more customer centric, operationally fit and digitally enabled organization, to deliver long lasting value creation for our shareholders.

Our results in 2018 reflect this strategic direction. We strengthened our competitive position in all segments with sound RGU growth in a market that is already highly penetrated. Incremental service growth was led by additional greenfield network coverage, continued uptake, albeit lower, of convergent solutions and by sustained improvement in subscriber churn. Despite the slowdown in commercial activity in comparison with previous years, and price stability during 2018, revenues grew just over 1% to 1,576 million euros and, through disciplined cost management and efficiency, EBITDA grew by almost 3% to 592 million euros.

The investment we are doing in strategic technological and operational transformation programmes is a critical enabler of current and long-term competitive strength. Last year we continued to invest in the upgrade of our mobile network to a single RAN, 5G ready architecture, having executed more than 70% of the planned site renewal. Completion of the project during 2019 will stand us with the most technologically advanced mobile network in Portugal, boasting the most advanced and efficient next generation broadband capabilities and features. During the second half of the year, we started to exchange the first FttH households within the context of our network sharing agreement, further extending our greenfield coverage with next generation access technology, and complementing our fully upgraded Docsis 3.1 network, which already allows us to provide Gigabit speeds nationwide.

Last year also marked the launch of the first of three waves of our operational transformation programme, designed to re-think and design the way we interact with our customers at all levels of the organization, with an ambition to deliver excellence in customer experience and be the operator of choice in Portugal. The projects being implemented are company-wide, run by internal resources, and are setting the foundations for a much fitter, digital company, driven by simpler, more customer centric processes and new ways of working. The value captured from the programme will start to accelerate once all three waves of projects are up and running, translating into leading customer experience metrics and savings in both operational running costs and customer related investments./br>
Our continuous and sustained improvement in operating profitability and FCF momentum, the strength of our capital structure and our leading competitive positioning provide the basis for long-term value creation and continued and attractive shareholder returns. Against this positive backdrop, the Board has again proposed an increase in dividend payment this year to 35 cents, representing an increase of 17% over last year and demonstrative of the confidence we have in our continued operating and financial momentum.

We consider sustainability to be a strategic priority and the guidelines we embrace and report, in line with the GRI - Global Reporting Initiative, are sharing across the organization. We are very conscious of the importance of acting responsibly to ensure our long-term competitiveness, including the role of our sector to contribute to a sustainable future for society. We reiterate our commitment to the ten Principles of Global Compact and to the achievement of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

I am very confident that NOS is well equipped today to face the long-term challenges of our sector and the ever evolving and legitimate expectations of our customers. The good results we continue to achieve allow us to embrace the future with optimism and I know we have the best team and assets to succeed as the leading entertainment and telecommunications company in Portugal, continuing to increase value generated for our customers, employees, shareholders and other stakeholders.

Miguel Almeida