Russian fixed line telecoms group Comstar has reported a 39% year-on-year rise in 2005 net income to USD105.9 million, driven primarily by increased domestic demand for residential telephony services, reports Reuters. Comstar is controlled by Russian conglomerate Sistema, which last year merged its other fixed line assets, including Moscow’s dominant telco MGTS, into Comstar. MGTS accounts for a large share of Comstar’s growth, as its business is expanding alongside a boom in construction and consumer demand in the capital. Comstar floated shares on the London Stock Exchange in February 2005, raising USD1billion. Its revenues rose 31% in 2005 to USD907.6 million, whilst EBITDA increased 44% to USD358.8 million; its EBITDA margin jumped 3.6 percentage points in the year to 39.5%.
In late March 2006 Comstar agreed to buy fixed line operator UniTel for USD4.8 million.