Rostelecom boosts first quarter profits by 3.1%

Rostelecom, Russia's nationwide intercity and international telecommunications operator, made a profit of 1.248 billion roubles (USD 40.5 million) in the first quarter of 2003. This represents an increase of 3.1% over the same period last year. According to the company's press office, these figures are contained in the company's pre-audit results for January-March 2003, which were published last Friday.

The company earned 6.3628 billion roubles (USD 206 million) in this period, an increase of 27.6% over the first quarter of 2002. Income from sales rose by 7% compared with the same period last year to 2.2175 billion roubles (USD 72 million).

Rostelecom provides intercity and international telephone services throughout Russia. The company operates connections to 211 countries and has direct telephone lines connecting with 75 operators in 72 countries. The company's main shareholder is Svyazinvest with a 50.67% stake. Foreign shareholders hold 41.48% of shares, Russia shareholders 5.49% and Rostelecom employees 2.36%. In 2002 Rostelecom made a profit of 3.0954 billion roubles (almost USD 100 million) according to Russian accounting standards, which was an increase of 38.6% over 2001.

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