Some funds might get spent on football – rest on infrastructure
Telekom Srbija aims to raise up to €500 million this year by issuing corporate bonds on a European stock exchange. CEO Vladimir Lucic says the money will be used to build the telco’s infrastructure and mobile network and fund expansion into Northern Macedonia, Switzerland and Germany. It even has ambitions for the the US and Canada.
However, one newspaper, Danas, alleges that the funds could be used to pay for the broadcast rights to the Premier League. The telco bought these for €600 million for the next six seasons.
State-controlled telecom operator has recorded a profit of 13.1 billion dinars ($121.3 million/€111.2 million) in 2021, thanks to a substantial rise in revenue, reports the Blic daily newspaper.
The Serbian company consolidated net profit 4.16 billion dinars (€37 million in 2020, up from 2.47 billion dinars €22.7 million in the previous year), it said in September 2021.
“In just one year, we have increased Telekom Srbija’s revenue by more than 130 million euro. As for the number of users in multimedia, last year alone we recorded an increase of 150,000 users,” Lucic said.
The company completed the merger of all cable operators it owns under the Supernova brand in 2021. “This happened in June, so the real effects will be even more visible in 2022, when we expect Telekom Srbija to surpass the magic figure of 1 billion euro in revenue and at the group level even 1.5 billion euro,” said Lucic.
Telekom Srbija will become the first Serbian company to receive an international credit rating and to issue euro-denominated bonds on an European stock market which is likely to be Frankfurt or Luxembourg.
“We started issuing corporate bonds in 2020 on the Serbian market. All large telecommunications companies have diversified debts partly through bank loans and partly through corporate bonds,” said Lucic.
Telekom Srbija provides a range of services to over 11 million users through its units in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Austria. In November 2021, the company launched operations in North Macedonia.