Incumbent fixed line and mobile operator O2 Czech Republic, 83%-owned by locally owned investment group PPF, has reported net profit of CZK3.72 billion (USD156 million) for the nine months ending 30 September 2015, representing a 49% year-on-year increase, as EBITDA rose 29.4% over the same period. In the wake of the announcement, the telco has announced plans to launch a share buyback programme in January next year. O2 Czech Republic also reported ‘stable’ consolidated revenues (including its O2 Slovakia business) for the period, of CZK27.7 billion, and notes that the results exclude Ceska telekomunikacni infrastruktura (CETIN), the company’s mobile and fixed infrastructure arm which was spun off in June this year. Mobile operating revenue climbed by 0.8% to CZK14.3 billion in the first three quarters, it said, but the carrier failed to staunch an outflow in users as the mobile subscriber base fell to 4.9 million, representing a 2.8% y-o-y decline. Within this figure, the pre-paid base was 6.2% lower at 1.66 million, and contract users declined 1.0% to 3.25 million.
In related news, in the wake of the share buyback announcement, majority shareholder PPF Group has said it has no immediate intention of raising its stake in the company. Reuters writes that the group wants to ‘support liquidity and free float’ and will decide whether it participates in the buyback at a later date – depending on market conditions – but says it will not seek to squeeze out minority shareholders.