Russia’s second largest mobile operator Vimpelcom has reported that its fourth quarter net profits rose by 30% last year, driven by rises in its user base and ARPU levels. Net profit for the period reached USD197.95 million, compared with USD151.75 million a year before, the company said. The 2006 profit figure, however, fell below the USD241.7 million figure forecast by a Dow Jones poll of six analysts. Revenues in October-December grew by 59% to USD1.45 billion, as average monthly ARPU rose to USD8.9 from USD7 in Q4 2005. OIBDA rose 64% year-on-year to USD690 million. Over the past year, Vimpelcom added around 10 million new customers across its operations, for a total of 55 million subscribers. CEO Alexander Izosimov said: ‘For the first time our new additions were almost equally split between Russia and the CIS countries, 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.’ Ukrainian subsidiary Ukrainian Radio Systems (URS), ended 2006 with USD61 million in net losses due to sharp increases in network investment.