Regional fixed line operator Far East Telecom, majority-owned by national telecoms group Svyazinvest, reported net profit rose by 163% year-on-year to RUB1.12 billion (USD44.67 million) in the first half of 2008. Total revenues increased 7.1% to RUB7.78 billion, while revenues from communication services grew 7.9% to RUB7.648 billion. Earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) were up 21.1% at RUB2.88 billion, while the EBITDA margin climbed to 37% from 32.7%. Total operating expenses rose 1.9% to RUB5.99 billion. Net debt decreased to RUB4.79 billion from RUB6.54 billion at the end of 2007.
CEO Anton Kolpakov said the operator is looking to increase its share of the communications market in Russia’s Far East by actively developing broadband access services and IPTV and improving the company’s sales system and customer service.