Rostelecom's 9-month profit falls 72.5 pct

Tue Dec 22, 2009 7:41am EST

* Totals 3.3 billion roubles vs 11.9 bln a year ago

* Year-ago result boosted by asset disposal gain

* Operating profit falls 36.6 percent

* Revenue flat vs 5.7 percent rise in expenses

MOSCOW, Dec 22 (Reuters) - Rostelecom ROS.N (RTKM.MM), Russia's largest long distance call operator, said on Tuesday its nine-month net profit fell 72.5 percent due to a disposal gain a year ago and rising costs.

Earnings came in at 3.26 billion roubles ($107 million) for the nine months to end September, down from the 11.87 billion roubles made in the same period last year which was boosted by the sale of Rostelecom's stake in fixed-line operator Golden Telecom for 8.7 billion roubles.

But the company also said its operating profit fell 36.6 percent to 3.93 billion roubles as revenues were largely flat while operating costs rose by nearly 6 percent. This was due mainly to higher payments to international operators for traffic transit.

Revenue was 48.76 billion roubles and operating costs rose to 44.83 billion roubles, Rostelecom said in a statement.

Rostelecom is at the centre of the plan to reorganise holding company Svyazinvest, part of Russia's government plans to improve the efficiency of state-run telecoms assets. [ID:nLK486977]

To see all Russian telecoms sector results click on [RU-LEN-TEL-RES] ($1=30.55 roubles) (Reporting by Maria Kiselyova)

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