Russian telecoms holding company Sistema has posted a 29% increase in profits for the first nine months of 2005. Net profit for the nine months ending 30 September 2005 rose to USD434.2 million on the back of a 31% year-on-year increase in turnover to USD5 billion, including USD1.2 billion from its businesses in Ukraine. Operating profit expanded by 19% to 1.6 billion, 83% of which was generated by its stake in Russia’s leading cellco, Mobile TeleSystems (MTS). Sistema’s telecoms operations comprise more than 50 companies covering all sectors of the communications market in Russia, including fixed and wireless, data, internet access and consulting services. Its main fixed line providers include Moscow City Telephone Network (MGTS), Telmos and Comstar Unified Telesystems. In September the group purchased a 45% stake in regional alternative telco Metrocom, one of the leading fixed line operators in the St Petersburg area.