VimpelCom posts 1Q 2009 Net Loss of 8.5 billion Roubles

Russian mobile operator, VimpelCom, has posted a 1Q 2009 Net loss of 8.5 billion Roubles under U.S. GAAP.

The Net result compares with a Net Profit for 1Q 2008 of 14.5 billion Roubles, but is a marked improvement on the 4Q 2008 net loss of 22.2 billion Roubles. OIBDA for the quarter came in at 32.16 billion Roubles, up 17% year on year, on Revenues of 66.84 billion Roubles, down 4% quarter on quarter, but up 30% year on year.

The company attributed the loss largely to a 23.6 billion Rouble foreign exchange loss, reflecting the company's U.S. dollar debts in Rouble terms, in the wake of the Rouble devaluation over 4Q 2008 and 1Q 2009, with VimpelCom CEO, Boris Nemsic hailing the company’s performance in a difficult market, and noting that the macroeconomic environment is providing the company with reason for cautious optimism.

“During the first quarter of 2009 the economies of Russia and the CIS countries went through a period of intense macroeconomic turmoil with a significant decline in overall business confidence, rapid currency devaluations, a drop in industrial production and rising unemployment. Despite the unfavorable macroeconomic conditions and usual seasonal slowdown, we managed to deliver strong quarterly results with revenues of 66.8 billion rubles and OIBDA of 32.2 billion rubles with a healthy OIBDA margin of over 48%. The relatively minor impact of the economic environment on the operational side of our business reconfirms our belief in the resilience of the telecom industry."