Russia's MTS boosted in Q4 by subscriber growth, higher data usage

Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) reported a 39 percent year-over-year increase in fourth-quarter profit, as Russia's largest mobile operator benefited from a rise in the number of subscribers and increased mobile data usage by customers.

According to Bloomberg, net income of €422.2 million in the fourth quarter, up from €303.7 million in the year-ago period, which was above analysts' forecasts of €359.7 million. Driving the profit was the fact that the company added 1.8 million subscribers in the quarter, bringing its total subscriber base to 101 million. Additionally, data revenue jumped around a third, according to Bloomberg.

Reuters reported that total fourth-quarter revenue increased 6.2 percent to €2.44 billion, slightly ahead of analysts' forecast. In the coming year, the mobile operator will increase capital expenditures to 20 per cent of revenue as it steps up the rollout of LTE networks.

"With the near completion of our aggressive rollout of 3G in 2012, we foresee a decrease in 3G-related capex in 2013," MTS CEO Andrei Dubovskov said in a statement. "However, we need to direct sufficient funds towards LTE network build-out to ensure we are able to offer our customers cutting-edge solutions and seize commercial opportunities, which LTE provides. Overall, we expect to spend 20 per cent of sales on capital investments."

For more:
- see this release
- see this Bloomberg article
- see this Reuters article

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