Bosnia m:tel Q1 profit up 22 pct to $18.3 mln

BANJA LUKA, Bosnia Fri May 4, 2012 10:41am EDT

BANJA LUKA, Bosnia May 4 (Reuters) - First-quarter profits at m:tel, Bosnia's second largest telecoms firm, rose 22 percent to 27.3 million Bosnian marka ($18.3 million), with the result buoyed by reduced debts and a rising number of users.

Total revenues in the same period rose 3 percent to 114.7 million marka, while operating costs increased 2 percent to 84.7 million marka, m:tel said in an emailed statement.

The company, majority owned by Serbia's Telekom Srbija, is located in Bosnia's Serb Republic but has expanded operations in recent years to the Muslim-Croat federation, the Balkan country's other autonomous region.

It posted a profit of 107.4 million marka last year and said it expects a similar result in 2012 as the economy continues to stagnate. ($1=1.489 Bosnian marka) (Reporting By Gordana Katana; Writing By Maja Zuvela; Editing by Greg Mahlich)