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Turkcell - 2Q09 earnings depressed by provisions

Turkcell - 2Q09 earnings depressed by provisions

6.8.2009 13:03

2Q09 net profit fell 26.1% y/y to TRY 393m, 22% below the consensus, on broadly flat revenues, and higher provisions. Revenues were TRY 2.2bn, flat y/y, on broadly flat ARPU and slight subscriber increase. Most notably, the 11% y/y EBITDA decline to TRY 709m was largely due to legal provisions. However, even stripping out these provisions, EBITDA was still down 4.3% to TRY 762m, some 6% short of consensus expectation of TRY 808m, on higher marketing expense as the market becomes aggressively competitive. Margins contracted 192 bp to 34.6, 250 bp short of the consensus. Below the EBITDA line, Turkcell also recorded more provision costs as finance expense, although these were partly offset by a recognition of deferred tax income. Adjusted net income would have declined 4% to TRY 512m, broadly in-line with the consensus, and 10% above our estimate. On the operating side, Turkcell's results confirms ongoing pressure in the mobile market. The slight q/q subscriber loss was purely on pre-paid subscribers shedding SIM cards as private income declines, offsetting the increase in post-paid subscribers. On the surface, ARPU remained strong at TRY 18.6, broadly flat y/y. Drilling down, however, the impact of MTR reduction is evident on continuing decline in yield per minute, as tariffs declined 27% y/y to TRY 0.15, despite upward price adjustments during the quarter, mainly on onnet prices as prescribed by the Telecom Authority, to reduce the asymmetry between TCELL's onnet and offnet prices, which has been a key attraction for subscribers. Revenues were impacted negatively by steep declines from foreign subsidiaries impacted by devaluations (namely Astelit (Ukraine), and a net revenue loss from Inteltek, its betting business. Overall, the results confirm the weak trends in Turkish mobile, and the weak outlook for Turkcell as competition increases. We expect TCELL to end the year with a subscriber net loss, despite higher marketing expenses. Although the underlying earnings are broadly in-line with the consensus, the stock is ikely to give back some of the recent gains as outlook raises concerns. At 5.7x 2009F EV/EBITDA, Turkcell trades above its peers (20% above peers incl Russia, 4% above peers ex-Russia)

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