Data card subscriber base continues to grow in double digits

Sistema Shyam TeleServices Limited (SSTL)'s loss has widened to Rs.1,180.1 crore for the April-June quarter this year, mainly due to fall in rupee against dollar.

The company, controlled by Russian conglomerate Sistema, had posted a loss of Rs.657.6 crore for the same period a year ago.

“SSTL’s net income during the quarter suffered from the adverse movement in exchange rate resulting in recording of forex losses with respect to long-term foreign currency-denominated loans, as rupee depreciated considerably against the dollar during the quarter,” SSTL Chief Financial Officer Sergey Savchenko said here.

However, the company reported a 50 per cent increase in its revenue during the quarter at Rs.417.7 crore against Rs.278.2 crore in the same period year ago.

SSTL’s President and CEO Vsevolod Rozanov said the company saw an increase of 3.9 per cent in its non-voice revenues on quarterly basis from both data and mobile value added services at Rs.148.4 crore, which is 35.5 per cent of its total revenue.

“Despite regulatory and tax challenges, SSTL has maintained its scale of operations and has also grown its business by further strengthening all its revenue lines. Our data card subscriber base continues to grow in double digits despite the recent tariff reduction by 3G operators,” Rozanov said. SSTL data card subscriber base for the quarter stood at 1.73 million, he added.

All telecom licences of the company, except one, were cancelled by Supreme Court on February 2, 2012, but still it has been adding new customers.

During the quarter, SSTL registered a rise in mobile subscriber base by 4.9 per cent quarter-on-quarter and reached 16.6 million customers as of June 30, 2012.

The licences of SSTL are valid till January 18, 2013. The company will need to re-purchase airwaves for telecom services through the auctions due in November.

“SSTL is taking all the necessary legal steps within the four corners of the Indian Judicial system to safeguard its interest. As part of the same strategy, SSTL, on May 4, 2012, filed a curative petition in Supreme Court. We have consistently maintained that its legal case is significantly different compared to the other mobile operators,” Rozanov said.

Keywords: Sistema Shyam

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