Comstar United TeleSystems, a leading integrated telecommunications operator in Russia and the CIS, reported consolidated revenues of USD417.3 million for its fiscal second quarter ended 30 June 2008, up 18% year-on-year when excluding Federal Budget compensation payments received in Q2 2007. Comstar UTS said adjusted OIBDA for the period under review was USD163.5 million with an OIBDA margin of 39.2% while net income climbed 74% year-on-year to USD29.9 million. Net cash flow from group operations were up 12% to USD 125.8 million, it said.
Comstar UTS was formed from the merger of three fixed line operators — ZAO Comstar, MTU-Inform and Telmos — in May 2004, writes TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database. At the end of 2005 Comstar UTS’ main shareholder, AFK Sistema, reorganised its telephony assets, bringing another of its operators — Moscow City Telephone Network (MGTS) — under the Comstar umbrella. The operator said that at the end of June 2008 51% of MGTS’ residential subscribers were on an unlimited tariff plan. At the same date, Comstar reported an 80% y-o-y increase in broadband subscribers in Moscow to 783,000, equivalent to a market share of 36%. In addition, Comstar UTS said it added a net 46,000 new broadband subscribers in the regions and reported a regional ARPU of USD20.2 per month.
Commenting on the results Sergey Pridantsev, president and CEO of Comstar UTS said: ‘The first half of the year has seen significant further progress in a number of our key strategic focus areas — broadband, the regions, and group structure. We have already now moved into the second phase of our broadband development strategy in Moscow after the significant market share gains that we have reported in recent quarters. Our objective is to drive up ARPU levels in the premium customer segment, whilst focusing on growing the subscriber base in the mass market segment … Our regional footprint and market position has been enhanced by the recent acquisitions of Interlink Group in the Central region in June and Ural Telephone Company in the Ural region in July.’ Comstar has also started the integration of the regional operations of STREAM-TV Group which provides cable TV and broadband internet access services in 40 Russian cities with a combined population coverage of over 15 million people. STREAM-TV’s network already passes more than 3.5 million homes and the combination with Comstar’s existing operations will make it the largest broadband operator in the Russian regions.