Comstar falls to loss in 2009

19 Mar 2010

Russia’s largest independent fixed line operator by subscribers, Comstar United TeleSystems, has posted a net loss of USD224.5 million for the year ended 31 December 2009, down from a profit of USD179.6 million a year earlier. Revenues fell by 10% year-on-year, down to USD1.48 billion. Operating income before depreciation and amortisation (OIBDA) similarly declined, down from USD689.5 million in 2008 to USD592.8 million a year later. The company attributed the declining results to rising tax and interest expenses. Company CEO, Sergey Pridantsev, added: ‘We either achieved or surpassed our operational and financial goals for 2009. The various strategic structural changes towards the end of the year significantly enhanced our competitive market positions, as well as the group’s efficiency and transparency levels. The change in our controlling shareholder opens up new opportunities for MTS and us to jointly approach customers with unique integrated offerings, utilising the extensive synergies of our shared backbone infrastructure and accelerating the expansion of our Russian regional footprint. Our strategic priorities in 2010 are to finalise the restructuring of our ownership in Svyazinvest, to accelerate the development of our operations in the Russian regions through the up-selling of our pay-TV subscribers to broadband internet services on modernised networks and though selective acquisitions, and to integrate our business processes with MTS, in order to increase Comstar’s value in the interests of all shareholders.’