Netherlands-based PPF Group’s telecommunications division PPF Telecom Group, which contains its operations in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria and Serbia (and until recently Montenegro), has reported net profits of EUR530 million (USD592 million) for FY21, up from a restated figure of EUR432 million in the prior year, as revenues climbed to EUR3.336 billion from EUR3.159 billion previously. The Group also reported higher operating income of EUR785 million (FY20: EUR696 million) in the period under review, as pre-tax profit climbed to EUR667 million from EUR555 million previously. In 2021, the Group reportedly invested in fixed assets totalling EUR520 million, noting that: ‘These investments were mainly channelled in further development of the Group’s telecommunications infrastructure and in spectrum licences. The main investment projects were related to the rollout of 5G mobile networks and the related modernisation of the network infrastructure across most segments. O2 Group continued investing in content rights for its leading IPTV platform and upgrading its IT systems. CETIN Czechia continued accelerating the rollout of fibre in its national broadband network to protect its market leadership position. Telenor CEE [note: rebranding operations to Yettel from 1 March] invested in 5G mobile spectrum licences in Bulgaria.’
As at 31 December 2021 the Group’s operating companies served a total of 18.3 million active mobile subscriptions, down slightly year-on-year, due to the divestment of Montenegro operations. On a like-for-like basis, excluding the divestment impact, PPF Telecom Group reported that mobile subscription growth was 1.5%. More importantly, it claimed, the number of contract subscriptions increased by 0.4% y-o-y and the share of contract subscriptions in the base (excluding M2M) increased by one percentage point in 2021 to 68%. ‘This migration of customers to higher value contracts, driven by continued demand for mobile data, has resulted in further growth of ARPU,’ it noted.