Ukraine’s dominant fixed line telco Ukrtelecom’s total annual revenue inched up by 0.1% to UAH6.493 billion (USD309.2 million) in 2014, including revenue from telecommunications services which increased by 0.6% to UAH6.241 billion (96.1% of the total turnover), the operator reported in a statement on its website. Of the telecoms revenue for the year, sales from internet access services grew by 5% to UAH1.4 billion, whilst turnover from international communications also saw an improvement, although gains were offset by Ukrtelecom’s revenue base shrinking from the loss of assets in the now-Russian controlled Crimea peninsula and significant limitation of the company’s operations in eastern Ukraine due to the political and security situation. Ukrtelecom assessed the total effect from ‘unpredicted losses’ due to ‘economic and political’ difficulties at around UAH170 million. Nonetheless, helped by a cost optimisation programme, Ukrtelecom posted a net profit for full-year 2014 of UAH286 million; TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database says this was up from annual net profit of UAH138.9 million recorded in 2013.
Ukrtelecom’s CAPEX investment in its telecommunications infrastructure reached UAH437 million in 2014 (compared to approximately UAH255 million in FY 2013). Its main investment priority in 2014 was the expansion of internet and data transmission infrastructure in small towns and villages throughout the country, putting into operation around 150,000 new fixed broadband ports and 3,570km of optical fibre in twelve months. As previously reported by CommsUpdate, Ukrtelecom’s rural DSL coverage expanded by over 50% in 2014, as it added 510 new locations to the high speed network, whilst this expansion has continued into 2015, with the addition of 124 further rural locations to the fixed broadband footprint in the first quarter. Fixed broadband subscribers stood at 1.67 million at the end of 2014, the telco’s latest statement added, which represents a moderate net rise of around 24,000 from the 1.646 million reported at end-2013, TeleGeography notes. A previous Ukrtelecom release claimed ’almost 100,000’ new broadband users were signed up in 2014, but this is assumed to be a gross figure, with these gains offset by customer losses in Crimea and eastern Ukraine.