Southeastern Europe (SEE) region pay-TV, internet, and telecoms provider United Group’s spate of acquisitions boost its annualised revenues almost treble in the year to March to close to EUR 2 billion.
United Group’s new acquisitions in Bulgaria, Greece, and Croatia and entry into those countries grew the total market served by the company to approximately 40 million people.
The Amsterdam-based group says that Vivacom of Bulgaria generated 29% of overall revenues during the quarter, with Telemach Slovenia and Forthnet of Greece accounting for 14% each, SBB Serbia bringing in 13%, and Telemach Croatia 10%. Operations in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Montenegro accounted for under 5% each.
In Q1 2021 the Group rebranded Tele2 Croatia to Telemach Croatia and launched a new strategy for the business, leveraging its experience with the highly successful integration of Slovenia’s Tušmobil, now Telemach Slovenia. This included the rollout of Croatia’s first 10G fibre optic network, providing superfast broadband internet.
United Group also unveiled a new strategy for Vivacom in Bulgaria in the first quarter of 2021 that includes a refresh of the Vivacom brand and the introduction thereof the Group’s EON platform, one of the most popular television and internet platforms in the region.
The Group also made acquisitions in Bulgaria in late 2020 and early 2021 to strengthen the United Media business. They included the country’s largest media company Nova Broadcasting Group and the Vestnik Telegraf newspaper business.
In other markets, at the end of 2020 Telemach Slovenia became the country’s leader in broadband internet access, making it one of only a few alternative operators in Europe to overtake their market’s former monopolist. The company also successfully grew its market share in mobile communications to around 25%, passing the milestone of 600,000 users.
United Group is accelerating its rollout of 5G mobile services in Southeast Europe, spending €51.6 million to acquire new frequencies for Telemach Slovenia in Slovenia’s 5G auction and €2.3 million in Bulgaria’s 5G auction, both of which occurred in April.