Russia's MTS Q4 net income up 16 pct, beats fcast

MOSCOW, March 18 Tue Mar 18, 2014 7:00am EDT

MOSCOW, March 18 (Reuters) - Russia's top mobile phone operator MTS reported on Tuesday a 16 percent rise in fourth-quarter net profit, beating forecasts, and reiterated guidance for the current year.

Net profit for the telecoms group, part of conglomerate Sistema, was 19.75 billion roubles ($544.1 million)compared to an average forecast of 14.8 billion roubles in a Reuters poll and 17 billion the year earlier.

Revenues rose 6.4 percent to 104.75 billion roubles, the company said in a statement. It reiterated its 2014 sales growth forecast of 3-5 percent compared to 5.3 percent last year.