Russian-backed wireless provider Sistema Shyam TeleServices Ltd (SSTL), which operates under the MTS India brand, has reported a substantial improvement in its net income for Q1 2014, despite registering a decline in revenues. The cellco’s turnover dropped by 9.4% year-on-year to INR3.188 billion (USD54.11 million) due primarily to the closure of operations in ten circles last year and the resultant loss of subscribers. SSTL’s efforts to drive uptake of data services have begun to reap dividends, with non-voice revenues expanding by 9.1% to represent more than a third (35.3%) of total revenues in Q1 2014, which it claims is the highest in the industry. The improvements in the makeup of the cellco’s customer base, along with the implementation of cost-cutting measures last year led to a 29% improvement in OIBDA, which expanded to a loss of INR975 million from a loss of INR2.113 billion a year earlier. Net losses for the quarter, meanwhile, halved to INR3.162 billion from INR6.439 billion twelve months previously.
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