Mobile TeleSystems PJSC (NYSE:MBT) Q3 2019 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Nov 19, 2019 • 10:00 am ET

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Mobile TeleSystems PJSC (NYSE:MBT) Q3 2019 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

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Q & A
Operator
Operator

Thank you very much. [Operator Instructions] The first question is from Cesar Tiron Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Your line is open.

Analyst
Cesar Tiron

Hi, good afternoon. Thanks for the call, and thanks for the opportunity to ask questions. I have three questions for you, if that's okay. One is on pricing on Russia, the other one on digital strategy, and then on distribution. So pricing in Russia, do you think it's possible to see an end of these unlimited data price plans, which have been around for about five quarters now?

Second on digital strategy, we've seen a very strong pick-up of the MyMTS app in Q3. Can you please discuss what drove this and also any progress you're making with online sales?

And then third on distribution, if we see less pressure from Tele2 in 2020, do you think it's realistic to assume that you will be able to close down a couple of more stores? Thank you so much.

Executive
Alexey Kornya

Yeah. It's Alexey. I'll take the first one and then Vyacheslav will talk a little bit more on digital strategy and also on assumable distribution. As far as pricing is concerned, we see quite a stable situation in the market. We think that the market is not -- we wouldn't be overly optimistic. However, we don't see that the market goes into extremes of competition. So the environment is pretty much stable. Neither too much positive. We don't see much of the room for growth in pricing, but we don't see also that there is some really disruptive for activities there in the market.

And as far as unlimited tele plans are concerned, so far they're driving our ARPU quite strongly higher, and we see positive contribution from them in ARPU, and in the overall top-line performance. So whether the time comes into phasing out from unlimited tariff plans, I think it's a little bit too early. However, at certain stage of the market development, we might see such aspect.

Executive
Vyacheslav Nikolaev

Okay. Regarding the digital strategy. On MyMTS, we are very happy with the current speed of getting new subscribers to MyMTS. But as we are making new developments in the application and including banking capabilities and some other features, we believe that the growth will continue at generally pretty much the same pace as the last couple of years. You've probably seen that it's a very steady improvement.

Regarding the e-commerce, I will pass it to Inessa.

Executive
Inessa Galaktionova

Yeah. I will just clarify, if understand the question correctly. This is about online sales of our shop, is that correct, yes?

Analyst
Cesar Tiron

Exactly.

Executive
Inessa Galaktionova

Okay. So yes, we're driving that activity year-on-year growth more than 7%, but it's actually a revenue of handsets. But definitely for that channel, we have more ambition targets. So we do expect double-digit growth of the channel in the coming year, because a lot of things -- we're actually making changes in that activity. On top of the handset sales, we do expect some good growth of our SIM cards