Comstar grows broadband base but loses TV subs

Russian service provider Comstar-UTS posted revenues of US$410.5 million (€300.6 million) for the third quarter, up 7% year-on-year in ruble terms, while operating income before depreciation and amortisation was US$170.6 million, up 9% year-on-year in ruble terms.

Comstar’s total broadband subscriber base at the end of September was 1.5 million, up 20% year-on-year. Comstar’s base in the regions outside Moscow grew by 51% to 519,000, while its Moscow base grew by 7% to 872,000.

However, pay TV subscribers in the regions declined year-on-year to 1.917 million, down 2% year-on-year, while Moscow pay TV subscribers stood at 111,000, down 13%.

Separately, Comstar’s Moscow network operator MGTS has acquired a 39.01% stake in Comstar parent company Sistema’s R&D unit Intellect Telecom, for RUB378.5 million (€9 million) in shares, while Sistema’s investment arm Sistema-Inventure has offered RUB436.20 per share for a further 2.04% stake in MGTS. The latter was a mandatory offer following Sistema-Inventure’s earlier acquisition of a 28% stake in MGTS, giving it an overall 97.96% stake, in excess of the 75% threshold required to trigger an offer for all of the shares it did not already own.

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