Ukrtelecom reports mobile growth, financial figures; SCM reportedly closing in on stake deal

29 Oct 2012

Ukraine’s incumbent PSTN operator Ukrtelecom has reported that its 100%-owned subsidiary TriMob reached a total of 955,000 mobile subscribers on its 3G W-CDMA/HSPA network at the end of September 2012, up from 790,000 at the beginning of the year. It added that one-third of its customers use advanced devices including smartphones, tablets or PDAs. In the first nine months of 2012 the operator’s mobile internet customers generated 6,741TB (6.6PB) of data traffic, and on a quarterly average basis each subscriber consumed around 2.1GB, the company reported. Ukrtelecom spun off its wireless operating assets into TriMob at the start of January ahead of a planned sale of the division, but it has so far failed to agree terms with potential buyers.

Ukrtelecom also reported that its revenues from providing fixed internet services in the first nine months of 2012 reached UAH1.131 billion (USD137 million), or 19.8% of the telco’s total sales, with third-quarter turnover in the segment standing at UAH381.5 million. The bulk of revenues remained in the fixed telephony sector, including urban local telephony sales of UAH2.3 billion, or 41.3% of total earnings in 9M12, and long-distance and international voice turnover of UAH1.7 billion (30.8%). The firm’s total investment in January-September 2012 was recorded as UAH747 million, including self-financed expenses of UAH612 and UAH135 million funded through credit facilities.

It was also revealed that Ukrtelecom’s recent staff cuts have stopped, at least for the third quarter, in which its number of full-time employees increased by around 100 to 61,085, following several quarters in a row in which the headcount dropped rapidly.

In other Ukrtelecom news, ProIT reports that the formerly state-run telco’s owner, Austrian investment firm Epic, has reached an ‘agreement in principle’ with Ukrainian conglomerate SCM – shareholder in telco Vega and cellco Astelit – on acquiring an ownership stake in the national incumbent. According to an unnamed source who is familiar with the negotiations, SCM, led by Ukraine’s richest man Rinat Akhmetov, is in the ‘final stage’ of hammering out an agreement on the future ownership of Ukrtelecom, which the two parties are expected to announced soon. SCM would neither confirm nor deny the information to the press.

Ukraine, Ukrtelecom (incl. TriMob)