Source AP ©

Russian Vimpelcom's 1Q profits jumped 89 percent

Russian mobile operator JSC Vimpel Communications said Thursday its first-quarter profit rose 84 percent as it added new subscribers.

The company, also known as VimpelCom, said profits in the first three months of the year reached US$359.3 million (EUR263.59 million), up from US$194.9 million (EUR142.98 million) in 2006, under. That's about US$30 million (EUR22 million)above estimates of ten analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires.

Revenue grew 53 percent to US$1.72 billion (EUR1.26 billion) as VimpelCom's subscriber base swelled to almost 60 million with an influx of new users in fast-developing markets like Kazakhstan.

Subscribers to the company's primary mobile brand in Russia, BeeLine, spent an average of US$12.30 (EUR9.02) each month, up from the US$9 (EUR6.60) in the same period in 2006.

The company's American Depository Receipts have risen 43 percent since January and closed up 7.4 percent, or US$1.59 (EUR1.17), in New York on Wednesday.

Vimpelcom trails MobileTeleSystems for Russian subscribers but maintains a lead over Megafon, Russia's third largest mobile provider.

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