Kazakhstan’s No.1 mobile firm KCell 9-month profit up 1.1 pct

Oct 17. Reuters. ALMATY

* 9mo net up 1.1 percent to 45.60 billion tenge
* Revenue up 2.3 percent to 141.31 billion
* EBITDA excluding non-recurring items up 6.2 pct to 80.83 bln
* EBITDA margin 57.2 percent vs 55.1 percent
* Subscriber base exceeds 13 mln in third quarter

Kazakhstan's No.1 mobile firm KCell 9-month profit up 1.1 pctKazakhstan’s largest mobile phone operator KCell said on Friday its net profit and revenue both rose in the first nine months of the year, driven by demand for data services and by handset sales.

Net profit rose 1.1 percent year-on-year to 45.60 billion tenge ($251 million) in January through September, on revenue up 2.3 percent to 141.31 billion.

“We remain focused on continuing to drive growth through smart innovation in products and services designed to both meet and anticipate the needs of our customers,” KCell’s acting CEO Rikard Slunga said in a statement.

In the third quarter the company continued to introduce new products in mobile financial services, expanding into the mobile payments market, Slunga said.

KCell, controlled by Sweden-based TeliaSonera, said its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA), excluding non-recurring items, increased 6.2 percent to 80.83 billion tenge. Its EBITDA margin grew to 57.2 percent from 55.1 percent.

Kazakhstan, a vast steppe nation of 17 million people, is central Asia’s largest economy and the second-largest post-Soviet oil producer after Russia.

During the third quarter KCell’s subscriber base rose by 181,000 to 13.064 million. ($1 = 181.50 tenge)