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Mobile services

Eurobites: VEON Q2 Hit by Italian JV Losses

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: 3's H1 revenue up, but earnings down; Vivendi could hang on to Mediaset stake; Brits binge on box sets; Sky launches loyalty program.

  • VEON, the Russian operator formerly known as VimpelCom, recorded a net loss of $278 million in its second-quarter earnings statement, a result the company attributes partly to losses incurred by its Italian joint venture, as well as other exceptional items such as the termination of its Euroset retail joint venture with rival Russian operator MegaFon . Revenue was up 12.3% year-on-year to $2.41 billion, though much of this increase was driven by acquisitions -- underlying revenue was up 3.7%. VEON was particularly pleased with its mobile service revenue growth, which was up 4.3% in organic terms.

  • UK mobile operator Three UK saw half-year EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) slip by 2% to £341 million ($447 million) on revenue that was up 10% to £1.16 billion ($1.52 billion). Costs relating to network and infrastructure investments were blamed for the drop in earnings. During the period, 3 managed to increase its customer base by 9% to more than 9.9 million active customers, with its prepaid segment showing healthy growth. It also gained additional spectrum by acquiring UK Broadband, which traded under the Relish brand. (See Eurobites: UK's 3 Plans Fixed-Wireless Rollout.)

  • A source at AGCOM, the Italian communications watchdog, has told Reuters that French media conglomerate Vivendi could avoid having to sell a 20% stake in Italian broadcaster Mediaset S.p.A. by placing the stake in a blind trust. AGCOM has already said that Vivendi's stake-building in both Mediaset (in which it owns a 29.9% stake) and Telecom Italia (TIM) (a 24% stake) is in contravention of rules intended to prevent an excessive concentration of power in the telecom and media sectors. (See Vivendi-Mediaset: Bad Romance Gets Worse.)

  • It's official: Brits love their box sets. New research from regulator Ofcom has found that eight out of ten adults in the UK have got into the habit of binge viewing, or watching multiple episodes of their favorite shows in a single sitting via on-demand catch-up platforms such as BBC iPlayer or Netflix. Not surprisingly, binge viewing is most popular with younger viewers: 53% of those aged 12-15 indulge in the practice on a weekly basis, compared to just over 16% of over-65s.

  • In a move that seems to go against the grain of long-time, uncomplaining customers of service providers being seemingly punished for their apparent inertia, Sky has launched a new loyalty program, Sky VIP, which promises those who stick with the pay-TV giant free tickets to sporting events and exclusive preview screenings of new films, among other perks. The loyalty program divides into four tiers, starting with Silver (0-3 years) and rising to Black (15+ years).

  • BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) has teamed up with See.Sense, a cycling technology company based in Northern Ireland, on a project that will provide 180 cyclists across the northern English city of Manchester with sensor-equipped lights that will transmit anonymized data on the cyclists' environment back to BT's Internet of Things data hub. The idea is that this data will help city planners and others to develop ways of improving Manchester's cycling infrastructure.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

  • James_B_Crawshaw 8/3/2017 | 1:43:54 PM
    See.Sense 180 cyclists in Manchester? Strava collects data on over 200k commuter rides each week in the UK of which probably around 9,000 are in Manchester.  

    https://cyclingindustry.news/strava-annual-report-details-the-both-world-and-uk-cycling-demographic/

    Go to the back of the class BT. 
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