Kazakhstan mobile operator KCell’s net profit up 2.5 pct

Apr 19. Reuters

Kazakhstan mobile operator KCell's net profit up 2.5 pctKazakhstan’s largest mobile phone operator KCell posted a 2.5 percent rise in first-quarter net profit to 13.7 billion tenge ($90.4 million) on revenue up 4.0 percent to 43.05 billion.

KCell, controlled by Sweden-based TeliaSonera, said its subscriber base had risen by 310,000 to 13.8 million subscribers. Kazakhstan, central Asia’s largest oil producer and which has large reserves of industrial metals, has a population of 17 million.

“Kcell is best placed to benefit from the significant growth potential for mobile data services in Kazakhstan,” the company quoted its Chief Executive Veysel Aral as saying in a statement.

Kcell’s earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA), excluding non-recurring items, grew 1.2 percent year-on-year in the quarter to 23.7 billion tenge.

KCell confirmed its plan to pay a special dividend equivalent to 100 percent of net income in the second half of last year, totaling 32.4 billion tenge. It said the payment would be made no later than June 30, 2013.

KCell Chief Financial Officer Baurzhan Ayazbaev told Reuters the dividend would amount to 162.01 tenge per share.

KCell’s December flotation of a 25 percent stake in London and Kazakhstan raised $525 million after being priced at $10.50 per global depositary receipt (GDR), the bottom end of its offered range.

The GDRs were down 2.1 percent at $13.7 by 0749 GMT. The Kazakh-listed stock was up 1.5 percent at 2,110 tenge.