Russian long-distance telephone monopoly Rostelecom has reported a massive 124.8% rise in net profit from RUB1.25 billion (USD43.08 million) to RUB2.81 billion for the three months to 31 March 2004, driven by a surge in incoming international traffic, which rose by 39% to 367.4 million minutes. Revenues for the period in review climbed by 39% year-on-year to RUB8.84 billion, outperforming consensus’ forecasts. Rostelecom’s robust set of financials is attributed to a sharp rise in demand for business traffic as the Russian economy continues to expand quickly, and its success in securing market share in an increasingly competitive sector; income from international operators for telephone traffic termination increased by 5.5% year-on-year to RUB992 million. Growth was also seen in its key Moscow market which reported a 10.3% rise in subscribers and a 3.3% hike in traffic volumes following last year’s decision to adopt a new pricing structure. Overall, domestic long-distance traffic increased by 10.3% to 2.19 billion minutes, generating RUB4.2 billion in revenue in Q1, up 804% from a year ago.