Vim­pelCom fore­casts ris­ing sales

The Pak Banker - - BUSINESS -

Vim­pelCom Ltd., the emerg­ing-mar­kets wire­less car­rier con­trolled by Rus­sian bil­lion­aire Mikhail Frid­man and part­ners, boosted sales in lo­cal cur­ren­cies and im­proved its prof­itabil­ity last quar­ter, pre­dict­ing fur­ther im­prove­ments in 2016.

Fourth-quar­ter sales rose 1 per­cent in lo­cal cur­ren­cies to the equiv­a­lent of $2.3 bil­lion. In dol­lar terms, sales fell 29 per­cent, Vim­pelCom said in a state­men­tWed­nes­day. Earn­ings be­fore in­ter­est, taxes, de­pre­ci­a­tion and amor­ti­za­tion rose 3 per­cent in lo­cal cur­ren­cies to $793 mil­lion. The com­pany fore­cast flat or a "low sin­gle digit" in­crease in ser­vice rev­enue in 2016, and said it's tar­get­ing as much as a 1 per­cent­age point in­crease in its or­ganic Ebitda mar­gin.

Vim­pelCom, co-owned by Nor­way's Te­lenor ASA, has come un­der pres­sure over al­leged cor­rup­tion in the exSoviet re­pub­lic of Uzbek­istan. Te­lenor has said it will di­vest its 33 per­cent stake in the com­pany, while Vim­pelCom Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer Jean-Yves Charlier has be­gun a strate­gic re­vamp of the wire­less car­rier.

Vim­pelCom last year set aside $900 mil­lion for pos­si­ble fines as it waits for the out­come of in­ves­ti­ga­tions into al­leged Uzbek bribes. The com­pany on Wed­nes­day said it's reached set­tle­ments with the U.S. Se­cu­ri­ties and Ex­change Com­mis­sion and Depart­ment of Jus­tice as well as the Dutch Pub­lic Pros­e­cu­tion Ser­vice. While they're still sub­ject to the ap­proval of the au­thor­i­ties, Vim­pelCom said that it will ac­knowl­edge "cer­tain vi­o­la­tions" of U.S. and Dutch laws un­der the set­tle­ments. Fi­nan­cial penal­ties will be within the pro­vi­sion, it said.

Vim­pelCom is show­ing op­er­a­tional im­prove­ments un­der Charlier, said Alexan­der Ven­gra­novich, an an­a­lyst at Otkri­tie Cap­i­tal in Moscow. Charlier in Au­gust merged Vim­pelCom's Wind Italy unit with CK Hutchi­son Hold­ings Ltd.'s 3 Italia al­low­ing the car­rier to de-con­sol­i­date Ital­ian op­er­a­tions from its bal­ance sheet, of­fload­ing more than $12 bil­lion in debt. The com­pany also bought a ri­val in Pak­istan and plans to sell wire­less tow­ers in emerg­ing mar­kets to cut debt.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Pakistan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.