This week, the announcement of Turkish giant Turkcell’s financial results was met with varying degrees of concern. The results shown were down: the group’s net income dropped by 45% for the fourth quarter, and 25.9% for the full year. Most reports pointed out that this was explained in part by a reimbursement based on previously announced regulatory decisions. But lower operational profitability is another reason. In addition, the various components of the group show different pictures: while ISP Superonline “successfully increased its revenues by 58% to TRY252 million (TRY160 million) and recorded a positive full year EBITDA for the first time” according to Turkcell’s announcement, the contribution of the group’s subsidiaries Astelit in Ukraine and Inteltek in Turkey were the major culprit in the decrease.
The group cited “Intensifying challenges in the macroeconomic, competitive and regulatory environment” to explain its impaired operational and financial performance in 2009, but this wasn't enough to reassure investor TeliaSonera (which owns 37.1% of the group as the main shareholder), as CEO Lars Nyberg is said to have called for a board meeting “to solve this problem”.
However, the situation isn't too bad for Turkcell. It has a presence across Eurasia, and a top position in the dynamic Turkish market, not only in the telecoms market but also as one of the major Turkish brands. In addition, its innovative strategy in terms of technology and services is unrivalled by other operators - Turkcell proudly announced yesterday (possibly trying to distract fromthe attention caused by its finances) that it was among the first operators in the world to reach a speed of 42.2Mbps with its 3G technology. All in all, Turkcell isn’t likely to lose its leadership any time soon.
One of the group’s top executives, Tayfun Cataltepe (Chief Corporate Strategy & Regulations Officer), will give a keynote presentation at EurasiaCom in Istanbul later this month, which will give an insight in the group's future strategy. It is part of a new Turkey Focus Day at the event, looking at the opportunities and trends in this very dynamic market. The event will also include contributions from Turkey and Eurasia’s leading operators, from regional groups (MTS, Altimo) to national incumbents (Turk Telekom, RomTelecom, Tajiktelecom, KyrgyzTelecom), competitive mobile operators (Vodafone Turkey, Bakcell Azerbaijan, Vtel Georgia), alternative service providers and ISPs (Altel Kazakhstan, wi-tribe, koç.net, SuperOnline, Borusan Telekom, Doğan Telekom), and more.
This event will be a great occasion to gauge the state of the market in the region and the future opportunities within it, from the point of view of investment, technology and services.
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