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4iG Profits Lifted by Vodafone Hungary Acquisition

Company kicks off a consolidation and outsourcing review of its domestic and international operations including fixed and mobile assets 

Hungarian telecoms/ICT group 4iG has almost tripled its EBITDA in a year driven by acquisitions and the transformation of the company into a regional info-communications group.   

In the five months since its acquisition, Vodafone Hungary has contributed HUF42.5bn to the group’s consolidated EBITDA, and generated HUF17.1bn more profit before tax in the same period compared to the same period last year.  

Although Vodafone Hungary reported a significant loss in the period under review, it was caused by non-recurring items, mainly interest on a loan payable to the previous owner. Vodafone Hungary credited and paid its UK owner with HUF38.6bn in interest on the loan secured by the parent telco, while the rest was tax on the deal plus higher energy prices.  

4iG said it has started a review of the potential consolidation and outsourcing of its domestic and international operations as well as the fixed infrastructure, and Hungarian and Western Balkan passive mobile infrastructure owned by the Group in the first half of 2023. 

It believes this strategy of focusing on integrating the Group’s operations and optimising the existing telecoms infrastructure will support future growth. In July, as part of a wider mobile network portfolio rejig, 4iG’s subsidiary Antenna Hungária signed a HUF68bn deal to sell MIS Omega Mobilhálózat, which owns DIGI Hungary’s mobile infrastructure. The new owner, state-owned Pro-M, gained 2,500 towers, active and passive radio network assets, as well as the rights and 1800MHz spectrum licences.  

Group figures look good 

Groupwide, year-on-year consolidated net sales revenue increased by 118.5% to HUF266.2bn in H1, EBITDA by 190% to HUF95.3bn and profit after tax to HUF 7.8bn. The results were driven by the performance of its telecom subsidiaries, increasing recurring revenues and strict cost management.  

The company ended H1 2023 with cash and cash equivalents of HUF47bn and operating cash flow of HUF74.4bn. 87% of the Group’s net sales revenue were generated by telecommunications services and 13% by IT services. 

The company said the Vodafone acquisition in Q1 has given it the necessary operational scale to operate as a convergent service provider, domestically and regionally, from IT to telecoms.  

4iG is Hungary’s second largest telecoms operator and a significant IT systems integrator, alongside 4iG’s Montenegrin and Albanian telecoms subsidiaries, which are also leading players in their respective national markets. 

Besides quad-play operator DIGI Hungary and Vodafone Hungary, 4iG’s other Hungarian telecoms divisions include Invitech, Antenna Hungária, Hungaro DigiTel and AH Net, plus DIGI subsidiary Invitel. 

Executive reshuffle 

According to Portfolio, László Blénessy is leaving his position as CEO of Vodafone Hungary and will become the deputy CEO at 4iG – responsible for technology for the network infrastructure, business IT activities, as well as the defence and space industry segment.  

He will be replaced by Tamás Bányai who has had experience in leaving Vodafone. Bányai began his telco career at Vodafone Hungary in 1999. In 2014, he moved on from the position of head of retail to run Vodafone Malta’s consumer business.  

In 2020, Monaco Telecom acquired Vodafone Malta and Tamás Bányai was appointed CEO of the service rebranded as Epic Malta. Banyai managed Hungary’s separation from Vodafone’s international systems. 

The current head of the 4iG’s B2C segment Tamás Tábori is now responsible for the transformation of the group’s retail business as the deputy CEO of Vodafone Hungary and the managing director of DIGI. He is tasked with coordinating and integrating residential landline and mobile services of 4iG C soport , which serves around 4.8m customers. 

Mohamed ElSayad will take over the post of 4iG group-level commercial strategy director, reports Portfolio. Between 2015 and 2018, he worked as the marketing director responsible for residential products at Magyar Telekom, and for the past five years he held the position of commercial director of Yettel Hungary (formerly Telenor Hungary).  

His main tasks are defining and developing the strategic directions and framework of 4iG’s telecommunications operations, as well as the introduction of the new brand, ONE, in Hungary. 

4iG entered the Western Balkans telco market as a strategic investor in 2021 with the acquisition of Telenor Montenegro, which rebranded as ONE Montenegro. 4iG Group has also appointed Brano Djurovic, the current chief commercial officer of ONE Montenegro as its new executive director of ONE Albania. 

Source: Mobile Europe

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