Russian state telecoms operator Rostelecom has reported that its net profit for the three months ending 31 March 2014 rose 8% year-on-year to RUB6.9 billion (USD202 million), on revenue that climbed 1% to RUB80.4 billion. OIBDA, fell 10% to RUB26.5 billion, with the margin sliding to 33% from 37% a year ago, it added. The carrier attributed the profit and revenue gains to strong demand for its broadband and TV services, which helped to offset dwindling fixed (voice) revenues. In a statement, Rostelecom president Sergey Kalugin said: ‘The company continued to expand its broadband and IPTV subscriber bases during the first quarter of 2014, and we were also able to increase both revenue and profit while reducing our debt burden.’ In the first quarter, Rostelecom saw a 23% y-o-y rise in pay-TV sales and 11% growth of broadband revenues – which counteracted the declines seen in fixed line and mobile sales. The results were first published by Rostelecom since it began the structural merger of its mobile operations with those of Tele2 Russia – a process that reached the first stage of completion in March. Rostelecom closed out March with a total of 26 million local telephony subscribers (down 6% y-o-y), 10.8 million broadband connections (+8%), 7.6 million pay-TV customers (+8) and 14.8 million mobile customers.
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