MTS said the focus of its investment program was on enhancing network capacity, coverage, and quality.
Capital expenditures in the first nine months of 2020 amounted to RUB 63.7 billion, with a Group cash Capex / sales ratio of 17.4 percent.
MTS engineers have deployed around 3,600 additional MTS base stations across 71 Russian regions, including more than 3,400 new 4G base stations, during the third quarter. MTS estimates that its LTE network covered 84 percent of the Russian population.
MTS said FY2020 cash Capex spending is estimated to be around RUB 90 billion including the effect from realized contracts with derivative instruments, as well as required investments under the Yarovaya Law.
“Given our strong Q3 results, as well as our increased visibility toward year-end 2020, we are upgrading our full-year guidance to revenue growth of at least +3 percent (from flat to 3 percent) and flat to 2 percent growth in Adjusted OIBDA (from –2 percent to flat), while maintaining our cash Capex guidance of around RUB 90 billion for the year,” MTS CEO Alexey Kornya said.
MTS will make investment in improvements and enhancements to LTE networks. MTS will invest in digital products and services. It will focus on the development of commercial 5G solutions and their introduction into Russian market. Implementation of infrastructure and spectrum sharing projects within Russia will also gain momentum.
In Q3 2020, MTS Group revenue increased 4.9 percent to RUB 129 billion — driven by both core telecom services as well as new segments beyond connectivity, with Fintech, Media, and B2B Digital & Cloud services together contributing more than half of growth.
Group Adjusted OIBDA in Q3 increased 3.3 percent to RUB 58.5 billion supported by core services, Opex savings in retail, and a positive contribution from MTS Bank. Adjusted OIBDA growth was negatively impacted by the decline in international roaming revenue. MTS net profit for the quarter increased 2.3 percent to RUB 18.8 billion.
MyMTS integrated customer care app reached 23.3 million active users in Russa. Over 8.4 million users had registered in the company’s loyalty program, MTS Cashback, at the end of the quarter.