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MTS India Data Card Base At 1.54M; Non-Voice Revenues Up 11.5% QoQ In Q1-2012

Sistema Shyam Teleservices (MTS India) has reported consolidated revenues for the first quarter of  2012. The company crossed the 160 lakh subscriber mark during Q1 2012.  SSTL’s data card subscriber base for the quarter increased by 15% to 15.4 Lakh/1.54 million subscribers. It added 2.1 Lakh data card subscribers during the quarter. Non-voice revenues, which include both data and mobile VAS revenues, were up 11.5% quarter on quarter to Rs 142.9 crore, now contributing 35.1% of total revenue, probably the highest among telecom operators.

Following the cancellation of its licences in February, the company filed a Curative petition in the Indian Supreme Court on 4th May 2012. The Company said that being a pure play CDMA operator, its legal case was significantly different compared to the other mobile operators. For example, there is no finding or suggestion by the CAG report that CDMA spectrum was equally or anywhere near in demand as GSM back in 2008. The Company is hopeful that the court  will look into the merits of SSTL’s Case and consider it accordingly. Sistema JSFC, the majority shareholder in SSTL, had also invoked its right under the Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) between India and Russia, after the Decision of the Supreme Court. The company informs that communication exchanges continue between Sistema JSFC and the Republic of India, which is a part of the 6 months conciliatory process as per the provisions of the BIT.

The quarter also saw SSTL shareholders approve an increase in the Authorised Capital base to Rs 12,000 Crore by including non convertible and redeemable preference shares. This according to the company, will strengthen its Capital structure and provide an opportunity to reduce cost of funding, including the added flexibility to raise finances for its rapidly expanding business operations across the country

Need To Know:

Data & VAS Revenues: Non-voice revenues from both data and mobile VAS for the quarter increased by 11.5% QoQ  to Rs 142.9 Crore (USD 28.4 million). Non Voice revenues now contribute 35.1% of total quarterly revenues and the contribution has increased by 2.43 percentage points for the quarter.

Blended ARPU: Mobile ARPU for the quarter declined by 2.3% to Rs 85. 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%, and Q1 2012 at 2.3%. Note that MTS has not reported Data Card ARPU separately.

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Mobile Subscriber Base: Mobile subscriber base increased by 5.3% quarter-on-quarter and reached 158.2 Lakh customers as of 31st March 2012. SSTL’s subscriber market share increased to 1.72% in Q1 2012 (vs. 1.68% in Q4 2011).

– Minutes of Use: SSTL’s mobile subscribers’ MoU(minutes of use) for Q1 2012 increased to 296 min vs. 288 min in Q4 2011.

– SSTL introduced MTS Super Zero – for both new and existing prepaid voice subscribers, under which they will be able to make unlimited MTS to MTS local and national calls at a rate as low as zero paisa.

– By the end of Q1 2012, SSTL expanded its high speed mobile data services to more than 400 towns in India.

Financials:

– Revenues: Consolidated revenues for the first quarter 2012 went up by 72%YoY and 3.8% QoQ to Rs 407.2 Crore (USD 81 million).

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– Operating Income Before Depreciation and Amortization (OIBDA): Consolidated OIBDA loss for the quarter stands at Rs362.1 Crore (USD 72 million).

– CAPEX:  At the end of 31st March 2012 stands at Rs 6474 Crore; this includes the investment of Rs 121.3 Crore made during Q1 2012. Accumulated losses of SSTL as at 31st December 2011 aggregated to Rs 8425 Crore.

– Debt: Consolidated debt from banks and financial institutions at the end of 31st March 2012 stands at Rs 8285 Crore.

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