Russia’s largest mobile phone operator by subscribers, Mobile TeleSystems (MTS), has reported consolidated group revenues of RUB107.148 billion (USD2.35 billion) for the three months to 30 September 2014, a 3.6% year-on-year increase from RUB103.388 billion in 3Q13, and adjusted OIBDA of RUB48.186 billion (+4.1%), although net income slipped 11.2% to RUB16.062 billion. Despite the fall in profit, the carrier said that rising demand for e-mailing and web-surfing on mobile devices is helping MTS Russia and rivals MegaFon and Vimpelcom (Beeline) weather a ‘slowing’ Russian economy. Mobile service revenue in Russia rose 9.1% y-o-y to RUB77.324 billion and data traffic grew 37.2% to over RUB17 billion. In addition, MTS noted that it has signed a Settlement Agreement with the Republic of Uzbekistan, resolving all disputes there, and allowing MTS to resume operations in Uzbekistan in the near future. Having taken possession of a controlling stake in the Russian-Uzbek entity Universal Mobile Systems LLC, MTS now plans to commercially launch operations throughout the territory of Uzbekistan on 1 December 2014. However, the worsening crisis in Ukraine has had an impact on sales after MTS suspended operations in Crimea in August.
Operationally speaking, MTS Group reported a total of 105.14 million mobile subscribers at 30 September, up 3.2% from 102.0 million at end-June 2014, of which 73.25 million were in Russia (1.9%), 1.69 million in Turkmenistan (-0.5%), 2.15 million in Armenia (0.9%).