Prague-based fixed and mobile operator O2 Czech Republic, 84.06%-owned by local investment group PPF, has reportedly purchased a total of 61,250 shares at an average price of CZK256.16 (USD10.35) since launching its share buyback programme last Thursday. The PTO revealed in December 2015 that it planned to buy back up to 4% of its own equity under the share repurchase programme that set a ceiling of CZK297 on O2 CR shares.
TeleGeography notes that the group’s financial results for the year to 31 December 2015 highlighted a 44.5% year-on-year increase in net profit to CZK5.077 billion, which it says shows that its long term business strategy is working. The group’s consolidated results, which include its O2 Slovakia subsidiary but not those of spun-off infrastructure business Ceska telekomunikacni infrastruktura (CETIN), showed that full year revenue was stable at CZK37.385 billion and EBITDA climbed 24.7% y-o-y to CZK10.142 billion. Growth across the operation was fuelled by mobile data, its O2 TV business and O2 Slovakia, prompting CEO and Chairman Tomas Budnik to say: ‘2015 was a breakthrough [year] for our company. We were the first globally to voluntar[il]y spin off our fixed and mobile infrastructure. And seven months of independent operation have [confirmed that our assumptions on the benefits] we identified in our analyses [were correct].’ The O2 CR official went on to point out that the new strategy plan has reversed a seven-year run of revenue decline at the company, and increased profitability significantly, while still generating increased free cash flow in 2015 (up 31%) and increasing CAPEX for 2015 and on into 2016.