Russian fixed line and broadband operator Comstar United TeleSystems has reported a 62% year-on-year decline in net profit for the first three months of 2009, down to RUB494 million (USD12.6 million). Revenues rose by 12% in the three months ending 31 March 2009, up to RUB11.3 billion. Operating expenses were up to RUB7.05 billion from RUB5.98 billion in the same period a year earlier. CAPEX jumped 92% to RUB2.02 billion in the quarter. Chief financial officer Irina Matveeva said, ‘We still expect total 2009 CAPEX to represent approximately 6% of group revenues and to comprise maintenance CAPEX, investments in subscriber acquisition and selective regional development projects. The majority of these projects are planned for the first half of the year, with lower levels of investment currently planned for the second half of the year. CAPEX represented 18% of revenues in the first quarter and included the payments for the projects implemented during 2008.’ The company added 249,000 net new customers to its broadband services in 1Q 2009, ending March with 1.17 million broadband subscribers in total. Fixed line subscriptions climbed marginally to 3.6 million from 3.59 at the end of December 2008.