Source AP ©

Russia's No. 2 mobile operator: net profits jump 30 percent

OAO Vimpelcom, Russia’s No. 2 mobile operator by revenue, said Thursday that it’s net profits grew by 30 percent during the fourth quarter for its user base became bigger and customers increased their spending.

Net profit, according to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, came in at US$197.95 million (EUR147.53 million), compared with US$151.75 million (EUR113.1million) a year before, the company said. The 2006 profit figure, however, fell below the US$241.7 million (EUR180.1 million) figure that was forecast in a poll of six analysts conducted by Dow Jones Newswires.

Revenue grew by nearly 60 percent to US$1.45 billion (EUR1.08 billion), as the company lured in 10 million new customers and subscribers increased the average amount they spend per month to US$8.90 (EUR6.60) from US$7 (EUR5.20) in the same period the year before.

CEO Alexander Izosimov said the company now had more than 55 million subscribers in Russia and the former Soviet republics.

"For the first time our new additions were almost equally split between Russia and the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States, with the largest additions from Kazakhstan (1.8 million), where we became the market leader, and from Ukraine (1.6 million)," he said in a statement.

"In the future, we expect our subscriber growth will come primarily from the countries outside of Russia."

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