Netia grows TV business

August 8, 2013 07.42 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul

netia-logoThe leading Polish alternative telco Netia is becoming an increasingly important player in the country’s TV industry and will start to offer commercial cable services early next year.

Its latest set of results show that the company ended the second quarter with 100,879 TV subscribers, or 42% more than in the same period last year and 11% more than three months earlier.

On the other hand, slow growth and strong competition saw its fixed broadband take-up decline by 5% year-on-year and 1% quarter-on-quarter to 903,947 and 866,077 respectively.

Its share of the broadband market in Q2 was around 12.9%, compared to 14% a year earlier.

Netia continued to expand its NGA network in Q2, adding 124,000 homes and bringing the total coverage to 1,172,000 households.

Of these, 828,000 were VDSL copper, 143,000 PON and 201,000 fast Ethernet and FTTB.

Netia had revenues of PLN968.2 million (€229.8 million) in H1, down 10% on a year earlier. EBITA was meanwhile 6% higher at PLN275 million and net profit almost double (PLN21.7 million v PLN11.2 million).

Commenting on the TV part of Netia’s business, including the recent acquisition on some former Aster networks from UPC Polska, its president Miroslaw Godlewski said: Capital investment guidance remains unchanged at PLN225m, plus PLN35m directly related to the Dialog and Crowley integration, even though we continue to roll-out NGA network upgrades and will be investing in the integration of our new cable networks into our existing core network in anticipation of offering commercial cable TV services from early 2014.

“These cable networks were acquired for less than PL 6m and require undemanding penetration rates below 10% of homes passed for the investment to break-even and therefore have the potential to generate high returns for our investors. Along with the Tele2 Polska, Dialog and Crowley acquisitions and our customer value-focused strategy to deal with the difficult market environment, this cable TV project underlines Management’s commitment to deliver shareholder value from the Polish telecommunications market by looking for exceptional opportunities.

“To this end we continue to monitor the status of various long- term acquisition targets and maintain the financial flexibility necessary to acquire such businesses while retaining the capability to make annual pay-outs to our shareholders.”