Comstar’s broadband base grows 42%

7 Sep 2007

Russian telco Comstar UTS, part of the Sistema Group, has posted revenues of USD379.2 million in Q2 2007, up by 32% from the same period of last year. Comstar UTS’s consumer broadband unit Comstar-Direct reported a 42% year-on-year rise in residential high speed internet subscribers to 426,400 at the end of June 2007, up 4% on the previous quarter. At the end of Q2 the operator served 33% of Moscow’s broadband users. Comstar-Direct’s double-play internet access and IPTV service ‘Stream TV’ claimed 99,000 customers at the same date, up from around 25,000 a year earlier.

Comstar’s net profit in the three months ended 30 June 2007 under US GAAP dropped 71% year-on-year to USD17.2 million, whilst net income excluding a call option-related charge amounted to USD39.2 million, 33% down on Q2 2006. OIBDA rose by 51% to USD173.2 million, while the OIBDA margin stood at 45.7% versus 40.1% a year earlier; operating profit grew 54% to USD135.7 million. The company’s management reported that the financial results were affected by a rise in the effective income tax rate, which occurred after Comstar UTS used its proceeds from an IPO in the fourth quarter of 2006. Furthermore, taxable profit decreased due to a lower dollar exchange rate.