SSTL pares net loss to Rs 402.5 crore in second quarter

Sistema Shyam TeleServices Ltd (SSTL), which offers telecom services under the 'MTS' brand name, has pared its consolidated net loss to Rs 402.5 crore in the second quarter ended 30 June. The company had posted a net loss of Rs844.7 crore during the comparable quarter of last year.

During the quarter under review, the Indian arm of the Russian conglomerate Sistema's consolidated revenues rose 15 per cent to Rs 334.8 crore, compared with Rs 290.9 crore posted during the same period a year ago.

On a sequential basis, the operator's revenues rose 5 per cent from Rs 318.8 crore recorded during the same period a year ago, SSTL said in a statement.

''During the quarter our consolidated revenues grew, driven by growth in non-voice revenues. These results are a testament of the market acceptance of our world class 3G plus network. Going forward, we expect strong momentum to continue, especially in our data business,'' said Dmitry Shukov, Chief Executive Officer at SSTL.

The company's blended average revenue per user (ARPU), a metric to gauge the financial strength of a telecom operator, rose 7.7 per cent Rs115 on account of increase in data usage.

Non-voice revenues grew 14 per cent during the quarter. The company's data card subscriber base for the quarter rose 8.5 per cent to 1.4 million subscribers.

Non-voice revenues contributed 38.6 per cent to SSTL's total revenues, the highest in the industry, while minutes of usage (MoU), another financial metric, rose 0.5 per cent to 416 during the quarter (Q-o-Q).

In the reporting period, SSTL's mobile subscriber base rose 1.4 per cent quarter-on-quarter and reached 9.2 million customers as of June 30, 2014. SSTL's mobile subscribers' MoU for Q2 2014 improved to 416 minutes versus 414 minutes in Q1 2014.

Non-voice revenues, from both data and mobile VAS, for the quarter rose 14 per cent to Rs 129.1 crore.

SSTL reported an operating income before depreciation and amortization (OIBDA) loss of Rs 136.5 crore for Q2 2014, OIBDA loss reduced by 38 per cent Y-o-Y, OIBDA loss improved on account of cost optimisation, strict control over marketing and other expenditures and also on account of Operational efficiencies.

''Our priority is to drive revenue growth in data for the Company with strict focus on achieving profitability. The plan is to continue investing in our data business and at the same time, through discipline ensure improvement in our OIBDA margins,'' said Sergey Savchenko, Chief Financial Officer of SSTL.

Financial Summary
Rs Million
Q2-2014
Q2-2013
Y-o-Y
Q1-2014
Q-o-Q
Revenue
3,348
2,909
15%
3,188
5.0%
OIBDA
-1,365
-2,193
38%
-975
-40%
Margins
-41%
-75%
34p.p.
-31%
-10p.p.
Net Income
-4,025
-8,447
52%
-3,162
-27%
Margins
-120%
-290%
170p.p.
99%
21p.p.