United Internet’s business model is based predominantly on customer contracts (electronic subscriptions) with fixed monthly amounts and contractually agreed terms. Such a business model ensures generally stable and plannable revenue and cash flows, protects against macroeconomic effects, and provides the financial scope to grasp opportunities in new/extended business fields and new/extended markets – organically, or via acquisitions and investments.
The large number of customer relationships helps the Company to utilize so-called economies of scale: the more customers using the products created by its development teams and operated at its own data centers, and/or transport data via its own networks, the greater the profit will be. These profits can then be invested in new customers, new developments, and new or extended business fields.
From the current perspective, Cloud Applications and Mobile Internet will be the growth markets over the coming years. With its clear positioning in the Access and Applications segments, United Internet is well placed to exploit the expected market potential.
In view of the dynamic market development of Cloud Applications and Mobile Internet, the Company’s growth opportunities are clearly apparent: universally accessible, increasingly powerful broadband connections are enabling new and more sophisticated cloud applications. These internet-based programs for private users and companies will also be United Internet’s growth drivers in the years ahead – both as stand-alone products in the Applications division, as well as in combination with landline and mobile access products in the Access division.
With its many years of experience as an access and application provider, its expertise in software development and data center operation, marketing, sales and customer support, as well as its strong and well-known brands (such as 1&1, GMX and WEB.DE), and customer relationships with millions of private users, freelancers, and small companies in Germany and abroad (currently over 67 million user accounts world-wide), the Company is excellently positioned.
In order to leverage this positioning for further sustainable growth, United Internet will continue to invest heavily in new customers, new products, and new or extended business fields, as well as in its further internationalization.
In addition to organic growth, United Internet also continuously seeks possibilities for company acquisitions, investments, and partnerships in order to extend its market positions, vertical integration levels, and expertise.
Thanks to its high and plannable level of free cash flow, United Internet has a strong source of internal funding as well as good access to debt financing markets. Further information on the Company’s equity strength and external financing is presented in the chapters 2.2 “Business development” and 2.3 “Position of the Group”.
Further information on strategy, opportunities and targets is included in the “Risk, Opportunity and Forecast Report” in chapter 4.