Russian and CIS telecoms group Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) has reported a 5.0% rise in annual consolidated revenue to RUB431.2 billion (USD6.3 billion) in 2015, driven by total revenue in Russia climbing by 4.4% to RUB391.2 billion (accounting for 90.7% of total turnover), whilst the group’s consolidated active subscriber base increased by 3.5% to 107.8 million. Group net income for 2015 declined 3.5% to RUB49.5 billion, as adjusted EBITDA fell 2.0% to RUB175.5 billion. Total CAPEX reached RUB96.1 billion in FY15, up from RUB91.9 billion in 2014 (including RUB79.6 billion invested in Russia, down from RUB85.5 billion the previous year).
Highlights for the MTS Russia division in 2015 included annual mobile service revenue improving 2.0% to RUB296.2 billion and total Russian mobile connections (including M2M) rising to 77.3 million at end-2015 from 74.6 million twelve months earlier, while data traffic revenue in Russia grew 19.8% to RUB77.2 billion. Russian fixed network division revenue fell by 1.5% in FY15, despite consumer fixed broadband subscribers increasing in the year by 273,000 to 2.63 million.
In other MTS divisions, the group highlighted the introduction of 3G mobile services in Ukraine, which were steadily deployed to each major metropolitan area of the country under the newly-adopted Vodafone Ukraine brand, although Ukrainian revenues still declined slightly, by 0.6% to around UAH10 billion (USD374 million) in FY15. In Turkmenistan, revenue jumped 3.9% annually, driven by increased mobile usage, while Uzbekistani subsidiary UMS witnessed 51% quarter-on-quarter revenue growth in 4Q15 as the division passed one million mobile subscribers. Revenue in Armenia, however, dropped by 8% for the year as macroeconomic factors impacted usage of services such as international calling and roaming.
For 2016 MTS forecasts consolidated group revenue growth of above 4%, with adjusted EBITDA growth of between negative 2% and positive 1%, while it expects to reduce its annual CAPEX to RUB85 billion.