* Says no reason to adjust guidance yet
* Q4 net income rises 16 pct to 19.75 bln roubles
* Moscow-listed shares up 3 pct
MOSCOW, March 18 Russia's top mobile operator
MTS said it was sticking to its growth and spending
plans for this year as businesses in Russia assess possible
economic damage from western sanctions for Moscow's seizure of
The telecoms group, which reported forecast-beating results
for the last quarter, said in the statement that macroeconomic
uncertainty and volatility in markets where it is present may
lead to changes to its forecasts.
As Russia effectively annexed Ukraine's Crimea region and
caused an international outcry, economists warned that the
macroeconomic backdrop could worsen further, damaging companies'
The company, the second-biggest wireless carrier in Ukraine,
said in February sales growth would likely slow to 3-5 percent
as Russia's weakening economy curtails consumer demand.
"We are not seeing any grounds yet for adjusting our
forecasts," Chief Financial Officer Alexei Kornya said on
MTS declined to comment on possible implications of the
Smaller Russian rival Vimpelcom earlier announced a
more than $2 billion impairment charge that the company said
reflected changed expectations of future cashflow and political
and macroeconomic risk in Ukraine, taking it to a fourth-quarter
net loss of $2.7 billion.
Net profit for MTS was 19.8 billion roubles ($544.1 million)
in the fourth quarter, compared to an average forecast of 14.8
billion roubles in a Reuters poll and 17 billion the year
Revenue also beat forecasts, rising 6.4 percent to 104.8
billion roubles, in line with expectations.
MTS also said its operating income before depreciation and
amortisation (OIBDA) grew 11.2 percent to 45 billion roubles,
and to 42.9 as a percentage of revenues from 41.1 percent in the
fourth quarter of 2012.
It also confirmed its capital expenditure forecast of 90
billion roubles and plans to pay a total of 90 billion roubles
in dividends in 2014-2015.
The company's Moscow-listed shares were trading 3 percent
higher at 1111 GMT, outperforming a 1 percent rise in the broad