VimpelCom shares rise as Q1 exceeds expectations

OAO Vimpel Communications, Russia's second largest mobile operator, has reported a narrower net loss than the market expected due to cost cutting, sending its New-York listed stock up 6%, Dow Jones Newswire reports.

The company posted a net loss of 8.51 billion roubles, or around $271.8 million compared with a profit of RUB14.58 billion a year earlier. Analysts polled by Dow Jones had forecast a net loss of $518.3 million.

The loss includes a RUB23.6 billion foreign exchange hit as debt held in foreign currency rose relative to the fall of the rubble, which lost a fifth of its value against the dollar in the period, the news wire says.

VimpelCom also surprised analysts by reporting in roubles instead of dollars for the first time, a decision it said it had taken to make it easier to compare results between quarters.

Revenue rose 31% to RUB66.84 billion from RUB51.14 billion.

Within Russia, which accounts for four fifths of VimpelCom's revenue, average spending by long-standing subscribers fell by 4%, in line with the trend reported last week by Russia's largest mobile operator OAO Mobile TeleSystems, or MTS.

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