Mobile TeleSystems Announces Financial Results for the First Quarter Ended March 31, 2010

Jun 08, 2010, 06:48 ET from Mobile TeleSystems OJSC

MOSCOW, June 8, 2010 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Mobile TeleSystems OJSC ("MTS" - NYSE: MBT), the leading telecommunications provider in Russia and the CIS, today announces its unaudited US GAAP financial results for the three months ended March 31, 2010.

    Key Financial Highlights of Q1 2010[1]

    - Consolidated revenues up 23.2% y-o-y to $2,614 million

    - Consolidated OIBDA[2] up 20.4% y-o-y to $1,154 million with
      44.1% OIBDA margin

    - Consolidated net income of $381 million

    - Free cash-flow[3] positive with $710 million for the first
      three months of 2010

    Key Corporate and Industry Highlights

    - Agreement with Sberbank to lower the interest rates on RUB
      59 billion in financing raised in August and September 2009

    - Agreement with Gazprombank to lower the interest rates on
      the EUR 100 million credit facility with maturity in September 2012,
      the facility in the amount of RUB 6.46 billion with maturity in
      September 2012 and the revolving credit line in the amount of EUR 100
      million with maturity in September 2012; further renegotiation of terms
      on credit facilities in May

    - Securing of financing from the Bank of Moscow in the amount
      of RUB 22 billion

    - Voluntarily repayment of RUB 6 billion of Sberbank loan and
      EUR 413 million EBRD, NIB, EIB loan

    - Voluntary prepayment of the principal and loan interest
      amounts on facility A of $373.8 million and on facility B of EUR247.6
      million of the syndicated loan agreement

    - Decision by the Moscow Interbank Currency Exchange (MICEX)
      to move the Company's five outstanding ruble-denominated bonds from
      "B" and "V" quotation lists to the "A1" quotation list

    - American Depositary Receipt (ADR) ratio change from the 1
      ADR per 5 common shares to 1 ADR per 2 common shares effective May 3,
      2010

    - Repurchase of the series 01 ruble-denominated bond in the
      amount of RUB 7.1 billion and the series 02 ruble-denominated bond in
      the amount of RUB 6.3 billion in April

    - Publication of the BrandZ ranking in April, recognizing MTS
      among the most powerful brands in the world for the third year in a row
      with a value of $9.7 billion at the 72nd position

    - Announcement that Comstar-UTS, MGTS Finance S.A., a company
      controlled by Comstar, and OAO Rostelecom have concluded agreements
      involving the sale of the 25%+1[4] share of OAO Svyazinvest to OAO
      Rostelecom for RUB 26 billion in May

    - Recommendation by MTS' Board of Directors (BoD) for the
      annual general meeting of shareholders to approve annual dividends of
      RUB 15.40[5] per ordinary MTS share (approximately $1.00 per ADR[6])
      for the 2009 fiscal year, amounting to a total of RUB 30.70 billion
      (approximately $999.3 million or 99% of US GAAP net income or 75% of US
      GAAP net income adjusted for the non-cash impairment charges) and
      nomination a total of nine members for the election to the Company's
      BoD

Commentary

Mr. Mikhail Shamolin, President and CEO of MTS, commented: "Results for the first quarter have demonstrated the progress we are making in our markets by moving towards our strategic goals. MTS Group revenue in the first quarter increased more than 23% year over year in dollar terms, driven both by currency appreciation as well as positive growth in each of our markets of operation. Overall, increasing usage, greater adoption of data products, subscriber additions and our extension into new products and services continue to support our growth. While we do not yet see a distinct impact on our business from the improving economic environment, we continue to outperform our peers in our markets of operation and believe strongly that we can benefit most from an uptick in regional economic activity."

Mr. Alexey Kornya, Vice President and CFO of MTS, added: "The Company's OIBDA grew over 20% in dollar terms year-over-year in the first quarter of 2010, driven by growth in our markets of operation and the appreciation of our core currencies versus the US dollar. While our Group margin fell 1 percentage points year-over-year, this decline masks the improvements we have made in our core network business considering the impact of rising handset sales on our margin. In Russia, excluding our retail efforts, our mobile OIBDA margin improved 2.5 percentage points on better top line performance and improved operating efficiencies."

Mr. Shamolin continued: "Since the end of the quarter, we continue to move forward with our strategic objectives. Integration with Comstar is proceeding as planned: we have initiated the rebranding process and have also brought to market the first truly convergent product. We continue to enhance our networks and have launched 3G services in Belarus and are actively developing our 3G network in Moscow. On the retail side of the business, with over 2,000 stores wholly owned and additional franchisees, we remain focused on improving the quality of our network. Overall, we continue to execute on our 3i Strategy, realizing goals in our integration with Comstar, developing networks to support universal internet access and seizing growth opportunities by bringing to market innovate products and services."

This press release provides a summary of some of the key financial and operating indicators for the period ended March 31, 2010. For full disclosure materials, please visit http://www.mtsgsm.com/resources/reports/.

Learn more about MTS. Visit the official blog of the Investor Relations Department at http://www.mtsgsm.com/blog/

Mobile TeleSystems OJSC ("MTS") is the leading telecommunications group in Russia, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, offering mobile and fixed voice, broadband, pay TV as well as content and entertainment services in one of the world's fastest growing regions. Including its subsidiaries, the Group services over 103.4 million mobile subscribers in Russia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Armenia and Belarus, a region that boasts a total population of more than 230 million. Since June 2000, MTS' Level 3 ADRs have been listed on the New York Stock Exchange (ticker symbol MBT). Additional information about the MTS Group can be found at http://www.mtsgsm.com.

Some of the information in this press release may contain projections or other forward-looking statements regarding future events or the future financial performance of MTS, as defined in the safe harbor provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. You can identify forward looking statements by terms such as "expect," "believe," "anticipate," "estimate," "intend," "will," "could," "may" or "might," and the negative of such terms or other similar expressions. We wish to caution you that these statements are only predictions and that actual events or results may differ materially. We do not undertake or intend to update these statements to reflect events and circumstances occurring after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events. We refer you to the documents MTS files from time to time with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, specifically the Company's most recent Form 20-F. These documents contain and identify important factors, including those contained in the section captioned "Risk Factors" that could cause the actual results to differ materially from those contained in our projections or forward-looking statements, including, among others, the severity and duration of current economic and financial conditions, including volatility in interest and exchange rates, commodity and equity prices and the value of financial assets; the impact of Russian, U.S. and other foreign government programs to restore liquidity and stimulate national and global economies, our ability to maintain our current credit rating and the impact on our funding costs and competitive position if we do not do so, strategic actions, including acquisitions and dispositions and our success in integrating acquired businesses, including Comstar-UTS, potential fluctuations in quarterly results, our competitive environment, dependence on new service development and tariff structures, rapid technological and market change, acquisition strategy, risks associated with telecommunications infrastructure, governmental regulation of the telecommunications industries and other risks associated with operating in Russia and the CIS, volatility of stock price, financial risk management and future growth subject to risks.

[1] Because Comstar-UTS was acquired from JSC Sistema, the majority owner of both MTS and Comstar, the acquisition was accounted for as a transaction between entities under common control. Similar to a pooling of interest, whereby the assets and liabilities of Comstar were recorded at Sistema's carrying value, MTS' historical financial information was recast to include the acquired entity for all periods presented. In addition, given the scale of the transaction, MTS has reallocated its headquarters' costs more equitably to its business units according to international practices.

[2] See Attachment A for definitions and reconciliation of OIBDA and OIBDA margin to their most directly comparable US GAAP financial measures.

[3] See Attachment B for reconciliation of free cash-flow to net cash provided by operating activity.

[4] 17.31% is owned by Comstar directly with another 7.69% owned by MGTS Finance S.A., which is controlled by Comstar.

[5] The dividend yield per share is 5.1%.

[6] According to the Russian Central Bank exchange rate of 30.7193 RUB/USD as of May 11, 2010. The dividend amount is set in Russian rubles by the Board of Directors; U.S. dollar amounts provided for reference using the foreign exchange rates as of May 11, 2010.

    For further information, please contact in Moscow:

    Joshua B. Tulgan
    Director, Investor Relations
    Mob: +7-985-220-4208
    Department of Investor Relations
    Mobile TeleSystems OJSC
    Tel: +7-495-223-2025
    E-mail: ir@mts.ru


SOURCE Mobile TeleSystems OJSC