Turkcell Iletisim Hizmetleri: First Quarter 2017 Results

“Turkcell’s Recipe for High Growth: Digital Services”

ISTANBUL--()--Turkcell Iletisim Hizmetleri A.S. (NYSE:TKC) (BIST:TCELL):

  • Please note that all financial data is consolidated and comprises that of Turkcell Iletisim Hizmetleri A.S. (the “Company”, or “Turkcell”) and its subsidiaries and associates (together referred to as the “Group”), unless otherwise stated.
  • As previously announced, starting from Q115, we now have three reporting segments:
    • "Turkcell Turkey" which comprises all of our telecom related businesses in Turkey (as used in our previous releases, this term covered only the mobile businesses). All non-financial data presented in this press release is unconsolidated and comprises Turkcell Turkey only figures, unless otherwise stated. The terms "we", "us", and "our" in this press release refer only to Turkcell Turkey, except in discussions of financial data, where such terms refer to the Group, and except where context otherwise requires.
    • “Turkcell International” which comprises all of our telecom related businesses outside of Turkey.
    • “Other subsidiaries” which is mainly comprised of our information and entertainment services, call center business revenues, financial services revenues and inter-business eliminations. Call centers were previously included in Turkcell Turkey but are, with effect as of the fourth quarter of 2015, now included in “Other subsidiaries”. We have made this change because we believe that our third party call center revenues are not telecom related. All figures presented in this document for prior periods have been restated to reflect this change.
  • In this press release, a year-on-year comparison of our key indicators is provided and figures in parentheses following the operational and financial results for March 31, 2017 refer to the same item as at March 31, 2016. For further details, please refer to our consolidated financial statements and notes as at and for March 31, 2017, which can be accessed via our website in the investor relations section (www.turkcell.com.tr).
  • Selected financial information presented in this press release for the first and fourth quarters of 2016, and the first quarter of 2017 is based on IFRS figures in TRY terms unless otherwise stated.
  • In accordance with our strategic approach and IFRS requirements, Fintur is classified as ‘held for sale’ and reported as discontinued operations as of October 2016. Certain operating data that we previously presented with Fintur included has been restated without Fintur.
  • In the tables used in this press release totals may not foot due to rounding differences. The same applies to the calculations in the text.
  • Year-on-year and quarter-on-quarter percentage comparisons appearing in this press release reflect mathematical calculation.

FIRST QUARTER FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS

  • Highest revenue and EBITDA1 growth of the past 10 years both at the Group and Turkcell Turkey level. All time high quarter revenue and EBITDA at the Group level
  • Group revenues and EBITDA up 25.6% and 39.8%, respectively with EBITDA margin of 34.5% which improved by 3.4pp year-on-year and which is the highest first quarter EBITDA margin since 2009
  • Turkcell Turkey’s revenues and EBITDA up 21.7% and 38.5%, respectively with an EBITDA margin expansion of 4.3pp to 35.6%; data and digital services revenues, comprising 67% of Turkcell Turkey revenues, up 94.2%
    • 18% of Turkcell Turkey revenues is now generated by digital services
  • Turkcell International revenues up 26.0% with an EBITDA margin of 24.3%
  • Other subsidiaries’ revenues, comprising information and entertainment services, call center services and financial services revenues, up 139.5% with the increased contribution of the consumer finance company
  • Group net income at TRY459 million (TRY563 million)
  • Group’s FX position under control with short position declining to just US$91 million at Q117-end
  • TRY100 million of consumer finance company receivables securitized with asset-backed security issuance in April 2017, contributing to Group’s focus on balance sheet efficiency and boosting cash flow generation ability
  • Our Board of Directors has decided to propose the distribution of TRY1,791 million gross cash dividends (gross DPS: TRY 0.8141), in line with the pay-out ratio stated in our dividend policy, at our upcoming Ordinary General Assembly meeting to be held on 25 May 2017. The dividend payments proposed will be made in three equal instalments on 15 June 2017, 15 September 2017 and 15 December 2017. Please note that the dividend distribution is subject to the approval of the General Assembly.

FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS

                     
TRY million   Q116   Q416   Q117   y/y %   q/q %
Revenue   3,225   4,044   4,053   25.6%   0.2%
Turkcell Turkey 2,928 3,576 3,563 21.7% (0.4%)
EBITDA1 1,002 1,371 1,400 39.8% 2.1%
Turkcell Turkey 916 1,227 1,269 38.5% 3.5%
EBITDA Margin 31.1% 33.9% 34.5% 3.4pp 0.6pp
Net Income   563   351   459   (18.5%)   30.8%

(1) EBITDA is a non-GAAP financial measure. See page 13 for the explanation of how we calculate Adjusted EBITDA and its reconciliation to net income.

For further details, please refer to our consolidated financial statements and notes as at and for March 31, 2017 which can be accessed via our web site in the investor relations section (www.turkcell.com.tr).

COMMENTS BY KAAN TERZIOGLU, CEO

Turkcell’s recipe for high growth: digital services

We are pleased to share the steps we have taken towards our goal of digital transformation set in 2015. Over the past two years, we have transitioned from selling minutes and GB’s to selling processed data. We have evolved into a digital services company, creating our own technologies and offering our digital services globally, while maintaining our leading position in the telecommunication sector. This quarter we have continued to see the positive results of our efforts, having beaten our previous records at both the top-line and EBITDA1 levels. In-line with our plans, our digital products and services became our recipe for high growth.

As of the first quarter, 18% of Turkcell Turkey revenues is now generated by digital services. The number of services developed in-house has reached 98, while the total downloads of our digital services have exceeded 53 million. Consumer interest in our services continued to grow, supported by the impact of 4.5G, which completed its first year. Our BiP application downloads have reached 13 million in 192 countries. Of these, 1.4 million were abroad. In Anatolia it is now used by 1 in 3 of our customers. Our Fizy application has overtaken its leading global competitor in Turkey, doubling its customer size. TV viewing duration with Turkcell TV+ has increased to 40 minutes from 7 minutes per user per day since its launch. The documents stored in Lifebox have surpassed 700 million, as this app’s downloads have exceeded 4 million, 45 thousand of which were outside of Turkey. Introducing Turkey to digital publishing, Dergilik has gained notable recognition. This digital publishing service has continued to enable our customers to access the most popular magazines on their mobile devices. Dergilik has seen 2.2 million magazine downloads within the first three months of its launch, setting a new readership record for digital publishing. And with the latest 13 additions, the total number of publications on the platform has reached 300.

4.5G fuels solid growth of data and digital services

At the beginning of April, we concluded Turkey’s first year with 4.5G. Over the past year, Turkcell’s 4.5G investments have resulted in 83% population coverage across all 81 cities of Turkey, with around 26 million subscribers. Boosted by 4.5G users, data consumption of which reached 5.1GB in March 2017, per capita data consumption of all users has increased 69% year-on-year to 3GB. Our smartphone penetration in Turkey has continued to gain traction, reaching 68% at the end of the first quarter, while the share of 4.5G compatible smartphones has reached 57%. On the back of our investments and growing customer demand, our data and digital service revenues posted 94% year-on-year growth.

In the first year of 4.5G, Turkcell enabled a video call via base stations domestically produced in Turkey as a part of the ULAK project. At this event, we staged a video call between our two domestic base stations located in Istanbul and Erzincan with our instant messaging application BiP, to celebrate 4.5G’s first anniversary. This video call marks not only a first for the telecommunications industry in our home country, but also signifies that our efforts in the past two years have come to fruition.

The highest growth rate of the past decade

We have maintained our strong growth trend in the first quarter, where both Turkcell Group and Turkcell Turkey posted the strongest yearly growth figures of the past decade for both revenues and EBITDA.

In the first quarter, Turkcell Group has reached 4.1 billion TL of revenues and 1.4 billion TL of EBITDA on annual growth rates of 25.6% and 39.8% respectively. The EBITDA margin of 34.5% was the highest first quarter margin since 2009. Group net income was recorded as 459 million TL. Turkcell Turkey growth including financial services revenues reached 25.4%.

These financial results have been made possible with our strong operational performance. Our customer base reached 50.4 million, 35.8 million of which are in Turkey. We have seen 496 thousand total net additions in Turkey with a balanced portfolio growth. Our mobile segment customers reached 33.4 million with an increase of 351 thousand subscribers while postpaid subscribers increased by 298 thousand on a quarterly basis, representing 53% of our customer base. In the fixed segment, our fiber and ADSL customers rose by 42 thousand and 62 thousand, respectively on a quarterly basis, while our total fixed customers reached around 2 million. IPTV customer base increased to 402 thousand on 42 thousand quarterly net additions.

Based on our convergence strategy, the share of multi-play customers in mobile segment using voice, data and digital services was at 42%2, while on the fixed side the share of customers using data services with TV has reached 39%3.

Thanks to higher data and digital services revenues from postpaid subscribers, mobile blended ARPU (excluding M2M) increased to TRY30.5 on 17.3% annual growth, while fixed residential ARPU reached TRY53.1 with 5.6% growth.

Leading innovation and social responsibility

While Turkey has passed the first year mark of its transition to 4.5G, Turkcell intensified its efforts towards developing 5G technologies. Over the past two years, we forged strategic collaborations with leading national and international technology companies and universities to develop 5G technologies. Recently, we have announced our cooperation with ZTE, in addition to our existing relations with Huawei and Ericsson.

We have received two awards at the GSMA World Mobile Congress, held in Barcelona, in recognition of our focus on using technology for the greater good of humanity. Our overall services for the Syrian refugee community in Turkey brought us GSMA’s biggest recognition in the form of “Outstanding Contribution to the Mobile Industry” award, which were proud to share with four other companies working for refugees. Additionally, we have also won a second award for best use of our mobile technology in humanitarian and emergency situations with our “Merhaba Umut” (“Hello Hope”) project that helps Syrian refugees overcoming the language barrier in their daily lives in Turkey.

Furthermore, we have carried our “Technology for Humanity” focus to the Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution founded by the World Economic Forum in San Francisco. In a speech we delivered at the first session of the inaugural roundtable of the Center, we invited the representatives of the World’s leading technology companies to leverage technology for a better future for humanity.

Financell raises the Fintech game

We continued to expand our product and service range in the Fintech field, where finance and technology meet. We are leveraging our customer relationships established through telecommunication services in our move to the financial services arena. Accordingly, as well as providing financing options that meet our customers’ technology needs via Financell, we also offer distinctive payment solutions via Paycell. We will also be introducing our customers to our new generation payment card, Paycell Card, once we receive regulatory approval. Within three years of its launch, we aim to have 10 million Paycell card users.

Our consumer finance company, which had initiated its operations in 2016, had quickly taken giant steps, and will continue to create funds utilizing capital markets instruments. Within this framework, Financell has achieved a first in Turkey by participating in the issuing of an asset-backed security in the non-banking sector. This notably contributed to our Group’s focus on balance sheet efficiency.

Last but not the least, our Board has decided to propose 1,791 million TL gross cash dividends to the approval of our upcoming General Assembly meeting to be held on 25 May 2017. This figure is perfectly in line with the pay-out ratio stated in our dividend policy. Please also note that the dividend distribution will be subject to the approval of the General Assembly.

We have made a strong start to 2017, and we progress in line with our 2017 targets. We thank all our colleagues and stakeholders for the role they have played in our success, along with our investors and our Board of Directors for their unyielding trust and support. We also express our gratitude to our customers and business partners who have been with us throughout our success story.

(1) EBITDA is a non-GAAP financial measure. See page 13 for the explanation of how we calculate Adjusted EBITDA and its reconciliation to net income.
(2) Share among mobile voice users excluding subscribers who have not used their lines in the last 3 months
(3) Multiplay customers with TV: Internet + TV users & internet + TV + voice users

FINANCIAL AND OPERATIONAL REVIEW

Financial Review of Turkcell Group

                     
Profit & Loss Statement (million TRY)   Q116   Q416   Q117   y/y %   q/q %
Revenue   3,225.4   4,043.6   4,052.6   25.6%   0.2%
Cost of revenue1 (2,018.8) (2,608.3) (2,616.6) 29.6% 0.3%
Cost of revenue1/Revenue (62.6%) (64.5%) (64.6%) (2.0pp) (0.1pp)
Depreciation and amortization (454.8) (604.3) (628.4) 38.2% 4.0%
Gross Margin 37.4% 35.5% 35.4% (2.0pp) (0.1pp)
Administrative expenses (178.7) (190.0) (199.8) 11.8% 5.2%
Administrative expenses/Revenue (5.5%) (4.7%) (4.9%) 0.6pp (0.2pp)
Selling and marketing expenses (481.2) (478.5) (464.6) (3.4%) (2.9%)
Selling and marketing expenses/Revenue (14.9%) (11.8%) (11.5%) 3.4pp 0.3pp
EBITDA2 1,001.5 1,371.1 1,399.9 39.8% 2.1%
EBITDA Margin 31.1% 33.9% 34.5% 3.4pp 0.6pp
EBIT3 546.7 766.8 771.5 41.1% 0.6%
Net finance costs 166.2 (198.3) (146.6) (188.2%) (26.1%)
Finance costs (55.0) (692.2) (348.1) 532.9% (49.7%)
Finance income 221.2 493.9 201.5 (8.9%) (59.2%)
Other income / (expense) (11.1) (44.4) 3.7 n.m n.m
Non-controlling interests (10.9) (17.7) (12.8) 17.4% (27.7%)
Income tax expense (143.4) (111.3) (157.2) 9.6% 41.2%
Discontinued operations 15.2 (44.4) - n.m n.m
Net Income   562.7   350.7   458.6   (18.5%)   30.8%

(1) Including depreciation and amortization expenses.
(2) EBITDA is a non-GAAP financial measure. See page 13 for the explanation of how we calculate Adjusted EBITDA and its reconciliation to net income.
(3) EBIT is a non-GAAP financial measure and is equal to EBITDA minus depreciation and amortization expenses.

Revenue of the Group rose by 25.6% year-on-year in Q117. This growth came mainly from the strong ARPU performance of Turkcell Turkey, driven by solid data and digital services growth.

Turkcell Turkey revenues, at 88% of Group revenues, rose by 21.7% to TRY3,563 million (TRY2,928 million).

  • Mobile data revenues grew by 88.5% to TRY1,438 million (TRY763 million) driven mainly by the rise in smartphone penetration, increased data users and higher data consumption.
  • Fixed data revenues rose by 31.8% to TRY317 million (TRY240 million) on increased users and consumption.
  • Digital services revenues rose by 179.7% to TRY631 million (TRY226 million). This growth comes mainly from Turkcell TV+, our digital publishing service Dergilik, music platform fizy, personal cloud service lifebox and other mobile services.
  • Overall data and digital services revenues, constituting 67% of Turkcell Turkey revenues, grew by 94.2% to TRY2,386 million (TRY1,229 million).
  • Wholesale revenues grew by 34.7% to TRY108 million (TRY81 million) positively impacted by the increase in carrier traffic and depreciation of the Turkish Lira.
  • We reported revenues of TRY65 million originating from our Universal Service Project, which is aimed at building and operating infrastructure in unserved rural areas. Contractually, this project is financed by Universal Service fund on a net cost basis.

Turkcell International revenues, comprising 6% of Group revenues, grew by 26.0% to TRY248 million (TRY197 million), driven mainly by the increase in lifecell and BeST revenues.

Other subsidiaries' revenues, constituting 6% of Group revenues, which includes information and entertainment services, call center revenues and revenues from financial services rose by 139.5% to TRY242 million (TRY101 million). This was driven by growth in the consumer finance company’s revenues, which reached TRY116 million (TRY2 million) in Q117.

Cost of revenue rose to 64.6% (62.6%) as a percentage of revenues in Q117. This was mainly due to the rise in depreciation and amortization expenses (1.4pp) reflecting the 4.5G investments, consumer finance company funding costs (1.4pp), GSM related equipment costs (1.5pp) and other cost items (1.5pp), despite the fall in radio expenses (1.6pp), the treasury share (1.2pp) and interconnect costs (1.0pp).

Administrative expenses declined to 4.9% (5.5%) as a percentage of revenues in Q117.

Selling and marketing expenses fell to 11.5% (14.9%) as a percentage of revenues in Q117, driven by the decline in marketing expenses (1.5pp), prepaid subscriber frequency usage fees (0.9pp), selling expenses (0.4pp) and other cost items (0.6pp).

EBITDA1 grew by 39.8% year-on-year in Q117 with a 3.4pp improvement in EBITDA margin to 34.5% (31.1%). Cost of revenue (excluding depreciation and amortization) rose by 0.6pp, while administrative expenses and selling and marketing expenses declined by 0.6pp and 3.4pp, respectively.

  • Turkcell Turkey’s EBITDA grew by 38.5% to TRY1,269 million (TRY916 million), while the EBITDA margin improved 4.3pp to 35.6% (31.3%). Net of Universal Service project, Turkcell Turkey EBITDA margin would have been 35.9%.
  • Turkcell International EBITDA rose by 12.7% to TRY60 million (TRY54 million), while the EBITDA margin was at 24.3% (27.2%).
  • The EBITDA of other subsidiaries rose by 120.9% to TRY70 million (TRY32 million) with the increasing contribution of our consumer finance company.

Net finance costs of TRY147 million (net finance income of TRY166 million) were recorded in Q117. This was mainly due to higher translation losses recorded in Q117. Increased interest expense in relation to loans also led to this outcome. Please see Appendix A for translation loss details.

Income tax expense increased 9.6% year-on-year in Q117. Please see Appendix A for details.

Net income of the Group declined to TRY459 million (TRY563 million) year-on-year in Q117. This was mainly due to higher translation losses recorded in the quarter, higher interest expense on loans, and an increased depreciation and amortization expense due to the 4.5G investments.

Turkcell Turkey’s net income declined to TRY454 million (TRY536 million) in Q117, mainly due to the reasons explained above with respect to the decline in Group net income.

Total cash & debt: Consolidated cash as of March 31, 2017 rose to TRY6,451 million from TRY6,052 million as of December 31, 2016. TRY3,512 million (US$965 million) of consolidated cash was denominated in US$, TRY969 million (EUR248 million) in EUR and TRY1,969 million in TRY and other local currencies.

Consolidated debt as of March 31, 2017 rose to TRY10,730 million from TRY9,781 million as of December 31, 2016. This was mainly due to the increased debt portfolio of our consumer finance company. Meanwhile, the translation increase in the FX denominated debt portfolio of Turkcell Turkey, due to depreciation of the TRY against the US$ and EUR, also led to a rise in our total consolidated debt.

(1) EBITDA is a non-GAAP financial measure. See page 13 for the explanation of how we calculate Adjusted EBITDA and its reconciliation to net income.

  • Turkcell Turkey’s debt was TRY7,802 million, of which TRY3,663 million (US$1,007 million) was denominated in US$, TRY3,744 million (EUR958 million) in EUR and the remaining TRY395 million in TRY.
  • The debt balance of lifecell was TRY481 million, denominated in UAH.
  • Our consumer finance company had a debt balance of TRY2,442 million, of which TRY183 million (US$50million) was denominated in US$, TRY98 million (EUR25 million) was denominated in EUR.

TRY5,871 million of our consolidated debt is set at a floating rate, while TRY3,322 million will mature within less than a year. (Please note that the figures in parentheses refer to US$ or EUR equivalents).

Net debt as of March 31, 2017 increased to TRY4,280 million from TRY3,729 million as of December 31, 2016.

In accordance with our hedging policy, in January we engaged in cross currency swap transactions for US$43 million and EUR20 million of our consumer finance company’s outstanding debt portfolio. With these transactions a EUR20 million loan with 2 year maturity and EURIBOR + 120 bps annual interest rate and two tranches of loans in total of US$43 million with 2 year maturity and LIBOR + 125 bps annual interest rate have been swapped to a fixed rate TRY denominated liability. Turkcell Group’s short position was at US$91 million as at the end of Q117 (Please note that this figure takes into account advance payments and the impact of hedging, and assumes utilizing the option of paying the last installment of the 4.5G license in TRY).

Cash flow analysis: Capital expenditures, including non-operational items amounted to TRY571.4 million in Q117. The cash flow item noted as “other” included prepaid subscriber frequency usage fee payment (TRY309 million), the negative impact of the decline in trade payables (TRY698 million) and increase in trade receivables (TRY277 million), and the positive impact of other items mainly relating to other working capital (TRY293 million).

In Q117, operational capital expenditures (excluding license fees) of the Group were at 13.2% of total revenues.

             
Consolidated Cash Flow (million TRY)   Q116   Q416   Q117
EBITDA1   1,001.5   1,371.1   1,399.9
LESS:
Capex and License (738.4) (1,133.5) (571.4)
Turkcell Turkey (675.4) (980.7) (533.4)
Turkcell International2 (61.7) (149.7) (35.0)
Other Subsidiaries2 (1.3) (3.1) (3.0)
Net interest Income/ (expense) 171.5 324.1 10.9
Other (685.8) (939.6) (991.1)
Net Change in Debt (145.2) 784.0 549.9
Cash generated (396.4) 406.1 398.2
Cash balance   2,522.4   6,052.4   6,450.5

(1) EBITDA is a non-GAAP financial measure. See page 13 for the explanation of how we calculate Adjusted EBITDA and its reconciliation to net income.
(2) The impact from the movement of reporting currency (TRY) against local currencies of subsidiaries in other countries is included in these lines.

Operational Review of Turkcell Turkey

                     
Summary of Operational data   Q116   Q416   Q117   y/y %   q/q %
Number of subscribers   35.2   35.3   35.8   1.7%   1.4%
Mobile Postpaid (million) 16.7 17.4 17.7 6.0% 1.7%
Mobile M2M (million) 2.0 2.1 2.1 5.0% -
Mobile Prepaid (million) 16.6 15.7 15.7 (5.4%) -
Fiber (thousand) 935.4 1,043.9 1,085.5 16.0% 4.0%
ADSL (thousand) 646.2 818.0 879.6 36.1% 7.5%
IPTV (thousand) 268.1 359.7 402.0 49.9% 11.8%
Churn (%)
Mobile Churn (%)1 7.5% 5.6% 5.0% (2.5pp) (0.6pp)
Fixed churn (%) 5.0% 5.3% 5.2% 0.2pp (0.1pp)
ARPU (Average Monthly Revenue per User) (TRY)
Mobile ARPU, blended 24.7 29.2 28.8 16.6% (1.4%)
Mobile ARPU, blended (excluding M2M) 26.0 30.9 30.5 17.3% (1.3%)
Postpaid 37.3 41.6 41.7 11.8% 0.2%
Postpaid (excluding M2M) 41.7 46.8 47.0 12.7% 0.4%
Prepaid 12.4 15.6 14.3 15.3% (8.3%)
Fixed Residential ARPU, blended (TRY) 50.3 51.1 53.1 5.6% 3.9%
Average mobile data usage per user (GB/user) 1.8 2.8 3.0 69.3% 8.8%
Mobile MOU (Avg. Monthly Minutes of usage per subs) blended   298.1   331.3   323.7   8.6%   (2.3%)

(1) In Q117, our churn policy was revised to extend from 9 months to 12 months (the period at the end of which we disconnect prepaid subscribers who have not topped up above TRY10.) Additionally, under our revised policy, prepaid customers who last topped up before March will be disconnected at the latest by year-end. Please note that figures for prior periods have not been restated to reflect this change in churn policy. The net mobile subscriber addition figures and mobile churn rate for Q117 disclosed in this document have been positively impacted by this change.

On the mobile front, our customer base expanded by 351 thousand quarterly net additions, reaching 33.4 million in total. This was mainly driven by 298 thousand quarterly net additions to postpaid customers, reaching 52.9% (50.1%) of our total mobile customer base. Meanwhile, we registered 53 thousand quarterly net additions to our prepaid customers.

Our fixed customer base has continued to grow reaching 2 million customers on 103 thousand quarterly net additions, of which 42 thousand were fiber and 62 thousand were ADSL customers. IPTV customers reached 402 thousand on 42 thousand quarterly. Total TV users including OTT TV only customers reached 1.3 million doubling year-on-year. As of April, Turkcell TV+ mobile application has been downloaded 2.9 million times.

Mobile churn declined 2.5pp in Q117 year-on-year with our value focused customer strategy, and our offerings that meet our customer needs. On the fixed side, the churn rate was at 5.2% (5.0%) in Q117.

Mobile ARPU rose to TRY28.8 registering record high year-on-year growth of 16.6% in Q117. Mobile ARPU growth was mainly driven by our upsell efforts, a favorable change in customer mix and increased data and digital services usage enabled by our 4.5G network. Higher triple play ratio of 42%1, which includes customers of voice, data and digital services combined, positively impacted the ARPU rise as well.

Fixed residential ARPU rose 5.6% in Q117 with the increase in multiplay customers with TV2 to 39% of total residential fiber customers, along with upsell efforts.

Strong demand for our mobile data offerings continued in Q117 as average mobile data usage per user rose by 69.3% year-on-year. Average mobile data usage of 4.5G users was at 5.1GB in March 2017.

Mobile MoU rose 8.6% year-on-year in line with our value focused customer strategy.

Smartphones on our network reached 20.5 million with 1.3 million quarterly net additions leading to a penetration of 68%. 4.5G enabled smartphones reached 57% of the total.

(1) Share among mobile voice users excluding subscribers who have not used their lines in the last 3 months
(2) Multiplay customers with TV: Internet + TV users & internet + TV + voice users

TURKCELL INTERNATIONAL

                     
lifecell* Financial Data   Q116   Q416   Q117   y/y%   q/q %
Revenue (million UAH)   1,132.6   1,313.7   1,180.2   4.2%   (10.2%)
EBITDA (million UAH) 356.1 362.8 319.7 (10.2%) (11.9%)
EBITDA margin 31.4% 27.6% 27.1% (4.3pp) (0.5pp)
Net income / (loss) (million UAH) (67.6) (62.5) (137.9) 104.0% 120.6%
Capex (million UAH)   456.9   847.0   237.6   (48.0%)   (71.9%)
Revenue (million TRY) 128.5 165.6 159.7 24.3% (3.6%)
EBITDA (million TRY) 40.4 45.8 43.2 6.9% (5.7%)
EBITDA margin 31.4% 27.6% 27.1% (4.3pp) (0.5pp)
Net income / (loss) (million TRY)   (8.4)   (7.9)   (18.7)   122.6%   136.7%

(*) Since July 10, 2015, we hold a 100% stake in lifecell.

lifecell revenues rose by 4.2% year-on-year in Q117 in local currency terms. This was mainly driven by the growth in mobile data revenues on the back of increased data users and consumption on 3G+ network. lifecell reported 10.2% year-on-year decline in EBITDA in local currency terms which resulted in an EBITDA margin of 27.1% (31.4%). This was mainly due to increased operational leasing expense post tower related sale and leaseback transactions. Excluding the tower leasing expenses, lifecell’s EBITDA margin would have been 30.1% in Q117.

lifecell’s revenues in TRY terms grew by 24.3%, while EBITDA rose by 6.9% year-on-year in Q117.

                     
lifecell*   Q116   Q416   Q117   y/y%   q/q %
Number of subscribers (million)1   13.3   12.4   12.3   (7.5%)   (0.8%)
Active (3 months)2 10.4 9.2 8.9 (14.4%) (3.3%)
MOU (minutes) (12 months) 141.4 141.3 127.2 (10.0%) (10.0%)
ARPU (Average Monthly Revenue per User), blended (UAH) 28.2 35.2 31.9 13.1% (9.4%)
Active (3 months) (UAH)   36.1   46.0   43.3   19.9%   (5.9%)

(1) We may occasionally offer campaigns and tariff schemes that have an active subscriber life differing from the one that we normally use to deactivate subscribers and calculate churn.
(2) Active subscribers are those who in the past three months made a revenue generating activity.

(*) Since July 10, 2015, we hold a 100% stake in lifecell.

lifecell, continuing its 3G+ network rollout, maintained its leadership in geographical coverage in Ukraine. Demand for 3G+ services continued to increase as the number of three-month active 3G data users reached 3.4 million. This positively impacted the total data traffic supported by the solid growth in data consumption per user, which more than doubled in Q117 on a year-on-year basis. Meanwhile, lifecell continued its leader position in the market in terms of smartphone penetration which has reached 60% as at the end of Q117.

lifecell’s three-month active subscriber base declined to 8.9 million, mainly due to the declining multiple SIM card usage trend in the country. Blended ARPU (3-month active) rose by 19.9% year-on-year in Q117 chiefly with rising mobile data consumption, price increases and an increased number of customers with higher ARPU tariffs.

                     
BeST*   Q116   Q416   Q117   y/y%   q/q %
Number of subscribers (million)   1.6   1.6   1.6   -   -
Active (3 months)   1.1   1.2   1.3   18.2%   8.3%
Revenue (million BYN) 23.1 26.5 24.0 3.9% (9.4%)
EBITDA (million BYN) 0.4 1.6 (1.3) (425.0%) (181.3%)
EBITDA margin 1.7% 6.1% (5.3%) (7.0pp) (11.4pp)
Net loss (million BYN) (9.7) (9.9) (13.3) 37.1% 34.3%
Capex (million BYN)   3.4   3.3   3.0   (11.8%)   (9.1%)
Revenue (million TRY) 32.8 44.5 46.0 40.2% 3.4%
EBITDA (million TRY) 0.5 2.8 (2.4) (580.0%) (185.7%)
EBITDA margin 1.7% 6.2% (5.2%) (6.9pp) (11.4pp)
Net loss (million TRY) (13.7) (16.5) (25.6) 86.9% 55.2%
Capex (million TRY)   4.8   7.8   5.8   20.8%   (25.6%)

(*)BeST, in which we hold an 80% stake, has operated in Belarus since July 2008.

BeST revenues grew by 3.9% year-on-year in Q117 in local currency terms, driven mainly by increased voice revenues. BeST registered an EBITDA decline which led to a negative EBITDA margin due to one-off impacts mainly related to the inventory write-off. Excluding these one-off impacts, revenues would have risen by 11.7%, while the EBITDA margin would have been 7.5%.

BeST’s revenues in TRY terms rose by 40.2% year-on-year in Q117. Excluding the one-off impacts, revenue growth would have been 50.6% in TRY terms.

BeST continued to offer 4G services to its customers in Minsk city centre in partnership with beCloud. In Q117, 4G services have been included in all data package offerings. BeST expanded its coverage to include two additional regions of Belarus; Vitebsk and Grodno at the end of Q117. Furthermore, in accordance with Turkcell’s global digital services strategy, BeST introduced its mobile TV platform, continued high momentum in BIP downloads and active users and launched its gaming platform during the period.

                     
Kuzey Kıbrıs Turkcell (million TRY)*   Q116   Q416   Q117   y/y%   q/q%
Number of subscribers (million)   0.5   0.5   0.5   -   -
Revenue 32.4 35.7 36.2 11.7% 1.4%
EBITDA 11.3 12.3 13.0 15.0% 5.7%
EBITDA margin 34.8% 34.4% 36.0% 1.2pp 1.6pp
Net income 6.1 3.6 7.6 24.6% 111.1%
Capex   2.8   11.4   3.6   28.6%   (68.4%)

(*) Kuzey Kıbrıs Turkcell, in which we hold a 100% stake, has operated in Northern Cyprus since 1999.

Kuzey Kıbrıs Turkcell revenues grew by 11.7% year-on-year in Q117, reflecting mobile data growth on the back of increased data consumption. EBITDA rose by 15.0% leading to an EBITDA margin of 36.0% (34.8%).

Fintur has operations in Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Moldova and Georgia, and we hold a 41.45% stake in the company. In accordance with our strategic approach and IFRS requirements, Fintur is classified as ‘held for sale’ and reported as discontinued operations as of October 2016*.

(*)For further details, please refer to our consolidated financial statements and notes as at and for March 31, 2017 which can be accessed via our web site in the investor relations section (www.turkcell.com.tr).

Turkcell Group Subscribers

Turkcell Group subscribers amounted to approximately 50.4 million as of March 31, 2017. This figure is calculated by taking the number of subscribers of Turkcell Turkey and each of our subsidiaries. It includes the total number of mobile, fiber, ADSL and IPTV subscribers of Turkcell Turkey, and the mobile subscribers of lifecell and BeST, as well as those of Kuzey Kıbrıs Turkcell and Turkcell Europe.

                     
Turkcell Group Subscribers   Q116   Q416   Q117   y/y %   q/q %
Mobile Postpaid (million)   16.7   17.4   17.7   6.0%   1.7%
Mobile Prepaid (million) 16.6 15.7 15.7 (5.4%) -
Fiber (thousand) 935.4 1,043.9 1,085.5 16.0% 4.0%
ADSL (thousand) 646.2 818.0 879.6 36.1% 7.5%
IPTV (thousand) 268.1 359.7 402.0 49.9% 11.8%
Turkcell Turkey subscribers (million)1 35.2 35.3 35.8 1.7% 1.4%
Ukraine 13.3 12.4 12.3 (7.5%) (0.8%)
Belarus 1.6 1.6 1.6 - -
Kuzey Kıbrıs Turkcell 0.5 0.5 0.5 - -
Turkcell Europe2 0.3 0.3 0.3 - -
Turkcell Group Subscribers (million)   50.8   50.1   50.4   (0.8%)   0.6%

(1) Subscribers to more than one service are counted separately for each service.
(2) The “wholesale traffic purchase” agreement, signed between Turkcell Europe GmbH operating in Germany and Deutsche Telekom for five years in 2010, had been modified to reflect the shift in business model to a “marketing partnership”. The new agreement between Turkcell and a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom was signed on August 27, 2014. The transfer of Turkcell Europe operations to Deutsche Telekom’s subsidiary was completed on January 15, 2015. Subscribers are still included in the Turkcell Group Subscriber figure.

OVERVIEW OF THE MACROECONOMIC ENVIRONMENT

The foreign exchange rates used in our financial reporting, along with certain macroeconomic indicators, are set out below.

   
Quarter
Q116   Q416   Q117   y/y%   q/q%
GDP Growth (Turkey) 4.5% 3.5% n.a n.a n.a
Consumer Price Index (Turkey) 1.8% 3.6% 4.3% 2.5pp 0.7pp
US$ / TRY rate
Closing Rate 2.8334 3.5192 3.6386 28.4% 3.4%
Average Rate 2.9202 3.2591 3.6665 25.6% 12.5%
EUR / TRY rate
Closing Rate 3.2081 3.7099 3.9083 21.8% 5.3%
Average Rate 3.2172 3.5147 3.9012 21.3% 11.0%
US$ / UAH rate
Closing Rate 26.22 27.19 26.98 2.9% (0.8%)
Average Rate 25.77 25.88 27.09 5.1% 4.7%
US$ / BYN rate*
Closing Rate 2.0133 1.9585 1.8720 (7.0%) (4.4%)
Average Rate   2.0552   1.9403   1.9109   (7.0%)   (1.5%)

* The official currency of the Republic of Belarus has been redenominated on July 1, 2016. As a result, BYR10,000 has become BYN1 starting from 1 July 2016. Prior periods have been adjusted accordingly for presentation purposes.

RECONCILIATION OF NON-GAAP FINANCIAL MEASUREMENTS: We believe Adjusted EBITDA, among other measures, facilitates performance comparisons from period to period and management decision making. It also facilitates performance comparisons from company to company. Adjusted EBITDA as a performance measure eliminates potential differences caused by variations in capital structures (affecting interest expense), tax positions (such as the impact of changes in effective tax rates on periods or companies) and the age and book depreciation of tangible assets (affecting relative depreciation expense). We also present Adjusted EBITDA because we believe it is frequently used by securities analysts, investors and other interested parties in evaluating the performance of other mobile operators in the telecommunications industry in Europe, many of which present Adjusted EBITDA when reporting their results.

Our Adjusted EBITDA definition includes Revenue, Cost of Revenue excluding depreciation and amortization, Selling and Marketing expenses and Administrative expenses, but excludes translation gain/(loss), finance income, finance expense, share of profit of equity accounted investees, gain on sale of investments, minority interest and other income/(expense).

Nevertheless, Adjusted EBITDA has limitations as an analytical tool, and you should not consider it in isolation from, or as a substitute for analysis of, our results of operations, as reported under IFRS. The following table provides a reconciliation of Adjusted EBITDA, as calculated using financial data prepared in accordance with IFRS as issued by the IASB, to net profit, which we believe is the most directly comparable financial measure calculated and presented in accordance with IFRS as issued by the IASB.

                     
Turkcell Group (million TRY)   Q116   Q416   Q117   y/y %   q/q %
Adjusted EBITDA   1,001.5   1,371.1   1,399.9   39.8%   2.1%
Finance income 221.2 493.9 201.5 (8.9%) (59.2%)
Finance costs (55.0) (692.2) (348.1) 532.9% (49.7%)
Other income / (expense) (11.1) (44.4) 3.7 n.m n.m
Depreciation and amortization (454.8) (604.3) (628.4) 38.2% 4.0%

Consolidated profit from continued operations before
income tax & minority interest

701.8 524.1 628.6 (10.4%) 19.9%
Income tax expense (143.4) (111.3) (157.2) 9.6% 41.2%

Consolidated profit from continued operations before
minority interest

558.4 412.8 471.4 (15.6%) 14.2%
Discontinued operations 15.2 (44.4) - n.m n.m
Consolidated profit before minority interest   573.6   368.4   471.4   (17.8%)   28.0%

NOTICE: This release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and the Safe Harbor provisions of the US Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. This includes, in particular, our targets for revenue, EBITDA and capex in 2017 and for the medium term 2017 to 2019. More generally, all statements other than statements of historical facts included in this press release, including, without limitation, certain statements regarding the launch and goals of our payment card business, our operations, financial position and business strategy may constitute forward-looking statements. In addition, forward-looking statements generally can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as, among others, "will," "expect," "intend," "estimate," "believe", "continue" and “guidance”.

Although Turkcell believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable at this time, it can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct. All subsequent written and oral forward-looking statements attributable to us are expressly qualified in their entirety by reference to these cautionary statements. For a discussion of certain factors that may affect the outcome of such forward looking statements, see our Annual Report on Form 20-F for 2016 filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, and in particular the risk factor section therein. We undertake no duty to update or revise any forward looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

The Company makes no representation as to the accuracy or completeness of the information contained in this press release, which remains subject to verification, completion and change. No responsibility or liability is or will be accepted by the Company or any of its subsidiaries, board members, officers, employees or agents as to or in relation to the accuracy or completeness of the information contained in this press release or any other written or oral information made available to any interested party or its advisers.

ABOUT TURKCELL: Turkcell is a converged telecommunication and technology services provider, founded and headquartered in Turkey. It serves its customers with voice, data, TV and value-added consumer and enterprise services on mobile and fixed networks. Turkcell launched LTE services in its home country on April 1st, 2016, employing LTE-Advanced and 3 carrier aggregation technologies in 81 cities. In 2G and 3G, Turkcell’s population coverage is at 99.63% and 96.21%, respectively, as of March 2017. It offers up to 1 Gbps fiber internet speed with its FTTH services. Turkcell Group companies operate in 9 countries – Turkey, Ukraine, Belarus, Northern Cyprus, Germany, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Georgia, Moldova – as of March 31, 2017. Turkcell Group reported a TRY4.1 billion revenue in Q117 with total assets of TRY33.0 billion as of March 31, 2017. It has been listed on the NYSE and the BIST since July 2000, and is the only NYSE-listed company in Turkey. Read more at www.turkcell.com.tr

This press release can also be viewed using the Turkcell Investor Relation app, which can be downloaded here for iOS, and here for Android mobile devices.

Appendix A – Tables

Table: Translation gain and loss details

                     
Million TRY   Q116   Q416   Q117   y/y %   q/q %
Turkcell Turkey   (6.9)   (499.1)   (154.8)   n.m   (69.0%)
Turkcell International 3.2 (29.6) (6.9) (315.6%) (76.7%)
Other subsidiaries (1.6) 6.3 4.2 (362.5%) (33.3%)
Turkcell Group   (5.3)   (522.4)   (157.5)   n.m   (69.9%)

Table: Income tax expense details

                     
Million TRY   Q116   Q416   Q117   y/y %   q/q %
Current Tax expense   (113.6)   (12.4)   (96.1)   (15.4%)   675.0%
Deferred Tax expense (29.8) (98.9) (61.1) 105.0% (38.2%)
Income Tax expense   (143.4)   (111.3)   (157.2)   9.6%   41.2%
TURKCELL ILETISIM HIZMETLERI A.S.

IFRS SELECTED FINANCIALS (TRY Million)

     
       
Quarter Ended Quarter Ended Year Ended Quarter Ended
March 31, December 31, December 31, March 31,

2016

2016

2016

2017

 
 
Consolidated Statement of Operations Data
Turkcell Turkey 2,927.5 3,576.2 12,787.6 3,562.7
Turkcell International 196.9 251.6 874.7 248.0
Other 101.0 215.8 623.3 241.9
Total revenues 3,225.4 4,043.6 14,285.6 4,052.6
Direct cost of revenues (2,018.8)   (2,608.3)   (9,236.6)   (2,616.6)
Gross profit 1,206.6 1,435.3 5,049.0 1,436.0
Administrative expenses (178.7) (190.0) (721.8) (199.8)
Selling & marketing expenses (481.2) (478.5) (1,910.9) (464.6)
Other Operating Income / (Expense) (11.1)   (44.4)   (234.3)   3.6
Operating profit before financing costs 535.6 722.4 2,182.0 775.2
Finance costs (55.0) (692.2) (1,237.6) (348.1)
Finance income 221.2 493.9 1,064.8 201.5
Discontinued operations 15.2   (44.4)   (42.2)   -
Income before tax and non-controlling interest 717.0 479.7 1,967.0 628.6
Income tax expense (143.4)   (111.3)   (423.2)   (157.2)
Income before non-controlling interest 573.6 368.4 1,543.8 471.4
Non-controlling interests (10.9)   (17.7)   (51.7)   (12.8)
Net income 562.7   350.7   1,492.1   458.6
 
Net income per share 0.26 0.16 0.68 0.21
 
Other Financial Data
 
Gross margin 37.4% 35.5% 35.3% 35.4%
EBITDA(*) 1,001.5 1,371.1 4,619.5 1,399.9
Capital expenditures 738.4 1,133.5 3,494.7 571.4
 
Consolidated Balance Sheet Data (at period end)
Cash and cash equivalents 2,522.4 6,052.4 6,052.4 6,450.5
Total assets 26,175.2 31,600.2 31,600.2 32,954.7
Long term debt 3,373.2 6,935.1 6,935.1 7,408.5
Total debt 4,028.3 9,781.2 9,781.2 10,730.1
Total liabilities 11,273.4 15,531.8 15,531.8 7,673.7
Total shareholders’ equity / Net Assets 14,901.8 16,068.4 16,068.4 16,536.4
 
 
(*) Please refer to the notes on reconciliation of Non-GAAP Financial measures on page 13
(**) For further details, please refer to our consolidated financial statements and notes as at 31 March 2017 on our web site
  TURKCELL ILETISIM HIZMETLERI A.S.

TURKISH ACCOUNTING STANDARDS SELECTED FINANCIALS (TRY Million)

     
             
Quarter Ended Quarter Ended Year Ended Quarter Ended
March 31, December 31, December 31, March 31,

2016

2016

2016

2017

 
 
Consolidated Statement of Operations Data
Turkcell Turkey 2,927.5 3,576.2 12,787.6 3,562.7
Turkcell International 196.9 251.6 874.7 248.0
Other 101.0 215.8 623.3 241.9
Total revenues 3,225.4 4,043.6 14,285.6 4,052.6
Direct cost of revenues (2,018.3)   (2,608.4)   (9,219.1)   (2,616.6)
Gross profit 1,207.1 1,435.2 5,066.5 1,436.0
Administrative expenses (178.7) (190.0) (721.8) (199.8)
Selling & marketing expenses (481.2) (478.5) (1,910.9) (464.6)
Other Operating Income / (Expense) 220.4   545.4   1,016.9   259.2
Operating profit before financing and investing costs 767.6 1,312.1 3,450.7 1,030.8
Income from investing activities 9.3 8.3 24.6 10.8
Expense from investing activities (7.0) (40.3) (59.9) (20.6)
Discontinued operations 15.2   (44.4)   (42.2)   -
Income before financing costs 785.1 1,235.7 3,373.2 1,021.0
Finance income - 385.6 385.6 61.3
Finance expense (67.6)   (1,141.7)   (1,768.8)   (453.7)
Income before tax and non-controlling interest 717.5 479.6 1,990.0 628.6
Income tax expense (143.5)   (111.3)   (426.6)   (157.2)
Income before non-controlling interest 574.0 368.3 1,563.4 471.4
Non-controlling interest (10.9)   (17.7)   (51.7)   (12.8)
Net income 563.1 350.6 1,511.7 458.6
 
Net income per share 0.26 0.16 0.69 0.21
 
Other Financial Data
 
Gross margin 37.4% 35.5% 35.5% 35.4%
EBITDA(*) 1,001.5 1,371.1 4,619.5 1,399.9
Capital expenditures 738.4 1,133.5 3,494.7 571.4
 
Consolidated Balance Sheet Data (at period end)
Cash and cash equivalents 2,522.4 6,052.4 6,052.4 6,450.5
Total assets 26,152.6 31,600.2 31,600.2 32,954.7
Long term debt 3,373.2 6,935.1 6,935.1 7,408.5
Total debt 4,028.3 9,781.2 9,781.2 10,730.1
Total liabilities 11,270.1 15,531.8 15,531.8 16,418.3
Total shareholders’ equity / Net Assets 14,882.5 16,068.4 16,068.4 16,536.4

Contacts

Turkcell
Zeynel Korhan Bilek, +90 212 313 1888
Investor Relations and Merger & Acquisitions Director
investor.relations@turkcell.com.tr

Release Summary

TURKCELL ILETISIM HIZMETLERI FIRST QUARTER 2017 RESULTS “TURKCELL’S RECIPE FOR HIGH GROWTH: DIGITAL SERVICES”

Contacts

Turkcell
Zeynel Korhan Bilek, +90 212 313 1888
Investor Relations and Merger & Acquisitions Director
investor.relations@turkcell.com.tr