Light Reading

Eurobites: Ukraine Crisis Hits MTS Hard

Paul Rainford

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Rostelecom profits down by a third; Kudelski gets Nagra H1 boost; mapping unit strife at Nokia.

  • Russian operator Mobile TeleSystems OJSC (MTS) (NYSE: MBT) has cut its full-year revenue and profit forecasts in the face of continuing political instability in Ukraine, reports Reuters. The company now expects revenue growth will be limited to around 1%, where it had been predicting growth in the 3-5% range. Its services in Crimea have already been suspended, following the peninsula's annexation by Russia in March. (See Euronews: Ukraine Networks Under Attack.)

  • Still on the Russian front, state-backed operator Rostelecom posted second-quarter profits down 31% year-on-year to 6.1 billion roubles (US$168 million), reports Reuters. By contrast to MTS, the Crimean situation seems to have presented an opportunity to Rostelecom, and it has set up a branch office there with a view to developing a new network in the region.

  • Switzerland-based Kudelski Group , which owns Nagra, the pay-TV content security specialist, has posted half-year results showing revenues are up 5.2% year-on-year to 400 million Swiss francs ($438 million), while net profits are up 70.1% to CHF18.3 million ($20 million). Nagra's customers include French cable operator Numericable-SFR and Spain's Euskaltel .

  • A little more light is being shed on the departure of Michael Halbherr from HERE, Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK)'s mapping products division: According to Bloomberg, Halbherr navigated his way out of the CEO's office after a disagreement with overall Nokia boss Rajeev Suri over the future direction of the division, which is bit ironic if you think about it. It seems there is an internal debate at Nokia between those who think the focus of HERE should be exclusively on automotive/enterprise clients and those who think the division should be still pitching its own consumer products.

  • UK mobile joint venture EE has extended its 4G roaming agreements with a further 16 countries, Canada, Germany and Italy among them. Similar agreements had already been set up in France, Spain and South Korea. (See EE Enables LTE Roaming in 16 More Countries.)

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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    User Rank: Light Sabre
    8/24/2014 | 11:50:15 PM
    Still a ray of hope
    MTS expects the business to grow 1% againt a 5% planned growth had this crisis never happened. We all know how analytics work. If they had better analysts working on this they could have backed out sooner but they didn't, hence now then project 1% growth, which isn't the fault of the crisis. 
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