Russia’s Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) has reported that in Q3 2018 its consolidated quarterly group revenue grew 11.7% year-on-year to RUB128.0 billion (USD1.94 billion), while group adjusted operating income before depreciation and amortisation (OIBDA) increased by 21.6% to RUB59.3 billion. Russia revenue increased by 12.0% y-o-y to RUB119.1 billion in the three months ended 30 September 2018, largely driven by a modest increase in mobile service revenue and growth in equipment sales. Domestic mobile revenue growth decelerated to 1.9% due to cancellations of inter-region roaming charges and a slight y-o-y subscription base decline to 78.0 million. Smartphone penetration and mobile internet penetration at MTS Russia reached 68.9% and 57.0% respectively by the end of Q3 2018. Russian fixed network operations showed a revenue decrease of 1.5% in 3Q18 due to continued weakness in the fixed telephony segment. OIBDA grew 19.3% to RUB55.5 billion in 3Q18 mainly driven by the adoption of new IFRS standards and top-line growth.
At other subsidiaries, MTS Belarus’ subscriber base grew to 5.4 million at end-September, supported by further 4G rollouts. The group’s Armenian unit slightly increased its subscriber base to 2.2 million in the third quarter. In Ukraine, MTS’ Vodafone-branded mobile division witnessed a 1.8% y-o-y decrease in subscribers to 19.9 million. Ukrainian revenue grew 12.6% y-o-y driven by data consumption growth on increasing numbers of data users and their migration to voice-plus-data tariff plans. Having launched a 4G LTE network in Ukraine at the end of March 2018, 4G population coverage reached 39% at end-September.