By Gokhan Ergocun
ISTANBUL (AA) - Net profits of Turkish mobile network giant Turkcell rose to 2.48 billion Turkish liras (around $679.45 million) in 2017, soaring 52.3 percent year-on-year, the company's CEO said on Friday.
Total revenues last year totaled 17.63 billion Turkish liras ($4.83 billion), up 23.4 percent from the previous year, Kaan Terzioglu told a press conference in Istanbul.
"Turkcell is the world's fastest-growing telecommunications company with a 23.4 percent growth rate in 2017," he said.
The company’s profit rise is based on core earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA), reaching 6.23 billion liras ($1.7 billion) in a 34.8 percent rise, Terzioglu added.
He said during 2017 Turkcell added 1.1 million mobile subscribers to reach a total of 34.1 million, and Turkcell's total subscribers -- included fixed-lines and TV -- reached 36.7 million, up 1.5 million compared to 2016.
The company's growth rate was dominated by data and digital services with 67 percent, he highlighted.
He said Turkcell's international revenues also surged 22 percent to 1.06 billion liras ($292.3 million) in the same period.
Turkcell has telecommunications brands in Ukraine, Belarus, and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
- 13-15 pct rise targeted for 2018
The company contributed 32.3 billion liras (around $10.32 billion) to Turkey's economy over the last three years with its investments, license fees, and liabilities.
Turkcell's 2018 target is a 13-15 percent rise in its revenues, he stressed.
He underlined that Turkish users’ monthly average data consumption is 6 GB, making Turkey fifth in the world in this ranking (Finland is first with 11 GB).
With its brands Lifecell Ventures and Turktel, Turkcell became the second-largest application developer in all application markets worldwide, after Google, he said.
He said Turkcell's popular apps such as music and video platform Fizy, messaging application BIP, magazine and newspaper platform Dergilik, and search engine Yaani are used by millions of people.
"Turkcell's shares gained 76 percent in value in 2017 year-on-year," he explained.
He stressed that the company applied for over 1,100 national and 100 international patents in 2017, adding that 20 percent of Turkcell's employees work on research and development (R&D).
Turkcell has cooperated with leading tech school Istanbul Technical University, Turkish defense giant Aselsan, and international tech titans Samsung, Ericsson, Huawei, and ZTE, he said.
"Tests will begin soon for transition to 5G network technology," he said.
Turkcell spearheaded GSM-based mobile communications in Turkey when it started operations in 1994.
Since then, it has constantly expanded its services based on mobile audio and data communication.
Turkcell's total revenues were 14.3 billion liras ($4.72 billion) in 2016 and 12.8 billion liras ($4.7 billion) in 2015.