Sistema Shyam reports net loss of Rs643.9 crore in first quarter

Sistema Shyam Teleservices Ltd's (SSTL) net loss widened 22 per cent to Rs643.9 crore for the first quarter ended 31 March 2013, compared with a net loss of Rs527.8 crore posted during the same period of the previous financial year.

The CDMA service provider, which offers services under the MTS brand, also fell 14 per cent to Rs352 crore during the quarter under review from Rs407.2 crore recorded during the same period of previous financial year.

The fall in revenues is mainly due to the closure of the circles, overall licence uncertainties and new regulatory requirements for customer registration. Moreover, the number of subscribers was further impacted due to strict control over sales and marketing expenditures, SSTL, the Indian subsidiary of the Russian conglomerate Sistema said in a statement.

''The operating environment for SSTL finally became stable by the end of Q1 2013, with the company participating in auctions and winning spectrum in 8 circles. The key focus now is to drive growth across all business lines in a profitable and sustainable manner, in sync with company's data centric voice enabled strategy,'' said Vsevolod Rozanov, President and Chief Executive Officer SSTL.

''The game plan includes to stay ''a step ahead'' and to further strengthen the brand MTS' connection with all its stakeholders, including customers, retailers and employees,'' he added.

In the 11 March spectrum auctions, it won technologically-neutral licences in 800 MHz band spectrum across eight circles. Together with Rajasthan, it has footprint of three carrier slots of 1.25Mhz each in 9 circles.

During the quarter, SSTL's blended mobile average revenue per user rose 2.5 per cent to Rs 81, while minutes of usage rose 10 per cent to Rs295.

The company's mobile subscriber base fell 20 per cent to 11.92 million (quarter-on-quarter basis) as of March 31, 2013. However, its revenues from non-voice services, both data and mobile value added services, fell 13 per cent during the quarter.

SSTL wrote-off Rs170 crore as it shutdown services in 13 zones, Chief Financial Officer Sergey Savchenko said.