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MTS India Data Card Base At 1.34M; Non-Voice Revenues Up 22% QoQ In Q4-2011

Sistema Shyam Teleservices (MTS India) has reported consolidated revenues for the fourth quarter of  2011 and for the financial year. The company crossed the 150 lakh subscriber mark during Q4 2011.  SSTL’s data card subscriber base for the quarter increased by 25% to 13.4 Lakh/1.34 million subscribers. It added 2.7 Lakh data card subscribers during the quarter, highest addition in a quarter till date. Non-voice revenues, which include both data and mobile VAS revenues, were up 22% quarter on quarter to Rs 128.1 crore, now contributing 33% of total revenue, probably the highest among telecom operators.

Sistema is finalising its legal strategy, according to a report by The Economic Times, to counter the revocation of its licenses. Note that the SSTL’s 21 licenses were cancelled by the Supreme Court, following its verdict in th 2G spectrum allocation scam case. Sistema had earler approached the Court with a review petition, which was rejected. It had said that its investments were protected by Indo-Russian Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT), and has asked the Indian government to honor the treaty to protect its $3.1 billion investment in Sistema Shyam TeleServices Ltd. (SSTL).

Need To Know:

Data & VAS Revenues: Non-voice revenues from both data and mobile VAS for the quarter and full year increased by 22% QoQ and 327%, to Rs 128.1 Crore (USD 25 million) and Rs 371.8 Crore (USD 79 million), respectively. Non Voice revenues now contribute 33% of total quarterly revenues and the contribution has increased by 60bps for the quarter.

Blended ARPU: Mobile ARPU for the quarter and year increased by 2.4% and 9% to Rs 87 and Rs 84, respectively. After 3 quarters of stagnant state, ARPU started to increase since Q3 2011 by 3.65% but has again slowed down for Q4 at just 2.4%. Note that MTS has not reported Data Card ARPU separately.

Mobile Subscriber Base: Mobile subscriber base increased by 13.2% quarter-on-quarter and reached 150.2 Lakh customers as of 31th December, 2011. SSTL’s mobile subscribers’ MoU for Q4 2011 declined to 288 min vs. 291 min in Q3 2011. For the year, mobile subscriber base grew by 78%.

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– Minutes of Use: MoU for Q4 2011 declined to 288 min vs. 291 min in Q3 2011. Minutes of Use continues to dip on quarter-on-quarter bases. However, Mobile ARPU maintained its growth which means that MTS has improved monetization of its minutes.

Financials:

– Revenues: Consolidated revenues for the fourth quarter 2011 and year up by 20% and 136%, to Rs 392.3 Crore (USD 76 million) and Rs 1234.9 Crore (USD 262 million), respectively. Quarterly revenues continue to grow faster than growth in wireless (Voice & Data) subscriber base, which for the quarter was up by 13.2% to 150.2 Lakh.

– Operating Income Before Depreciation and Amortization (OIBDA): Consolidated OIBDA loss for the quarter and year stands at Rs 5,69 Crore (USD 110 million) and Rs 1892.7 Crore (USD 402 million), respectively. Yearly OIBDA margins improved 134 p.p. Y-o-Y.

– CAPEX:  At the end of 31st December 2011 stands at Rs 6443 Crore; this includes the investment of Rs 199.8 Crore made during Q4 2011. Accumulated losses of SSTL as at 31st December 2011 aggregated to Rs 7898 Crore.

– Debt: Consolidated debt from banks and financial institutions at the end of 31st December 2011 stands at Rs 8380 Crore.

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