Vimpelcom posts 23% sales increase; confirms Weather reports

3 Sep 2010

Russia-based telecoms group Vimpelcom has announced revenues of USD2.64 billion for the three months ended 30 June 2010. This figure represents an increase of 23.1% from USD2.15 billion one year earlier. However, net income for the same period slumped from USD700.5 million to USD334.7 million, a drop of 52.2%. The group’s domestic unit saw revenues increase 4.4% to RUB61.74 billion, of which RUB51.83 billion (USD2.01 billion) was derived from Vimpelcom’s mobile unit, a rise of 5.3% year-on-year. Meanwhile, the group’s fixed line operations generated RUB9.91 billion, and increase of 0.1% from 2Q09. In operational terms Vimpelcom recorded 50.91 million mobile subscribers as at 30 June, a rise of 1.9% year-on-year. Of these, 1.3 million used the company’s Russian 3G network, up 70.4% from 763,000 in 2Q09. Vimpelcom saw fixed broadband subscriber figures increase 33.8%, from 896,000 to 1.2 million as at end-June.

Alexander Izosimov, Vimpelcom’s CEO commented: ‘Our second quarter results show positive dynamics, reflecting economic recovery in major markets and seasonal trends. Revenues increased substantially as a result of both Kyivstar consolidation [in Ukraine] and strong organic growth across all key segments of our business. The mobile segment in Russia delivered its highest ever quarterly rouble revenues. Quarterly revenue and margin dynamics in Ukraine improved substantially on a like-for-like basis. In Kazakhstan, our largest market in the CIS segment, the strong quarterly results also reflect the macroeconomic recovery.’

Isozimov also confirmed reports that Vimpelcom is in talks with Egyptian businessman Naguib Sawiris’ holding vehicle Weather Investments to buy a majority stake in Egypt-based telecoms group Orascom as well as Italian full-service operator Wind. The CEO said, ‘We are in talks with them as well as others,’ without giving further details.