Russia’s Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) posted a 1.3% year-on-year rise in consolidated revenue to RUB117.7 billion (USD1.61 billion) in the second quarter of 2020, driven by positive contributions from its MTS Bank unit as well as core telecoms connectivity services. 98.8% of consolidated turnover – RUB116.3 billion, up 0.8% y-o-y – was derived from Russia. Group operating income before depreciation and amortisation (OIBDA) climbed 0.6% to RUB51.6 billion in the three months ended 30 June 2020 – of which Russia accounted for RUB50.4 billion, up 0.3% – with negative COVID-19 impacts in roaming and banking more than offset by positive contributions from core services, OPEX savings in retail and other factors. Operating profit fell 4.2% y-o-y to RUB26.0 billion in 2Q20, while quarterly net profit dropped 7.5% to RUB11.8 billion. CAPEX in April-June was 9.1% lower than a year ago, reaching RUB20.6 billion.
In Q2 2020 MTS activated 3,698 additional mobile base stations in Russia (involving deployments in 68 of 83 regions), including 3,434 new 4G base stations, driving LTE network population coverage up to approximately 84%.
In its outlook for the remainder of the year, MTS said that while some uncertainty and headwinds remained – in particular lower levels of international roaming – due to the company’s ‘continued operational agility’ and sustained demand for connectivity services, it reaffirmed its earlier full-year 2020 guidance of flat-to-3% growth in revenue, minus 2%-to-flat adjusted OIBDA, and annual CAPEX of around RUB90 billion.