* Revised targets see sales, EBITDA declining
* First-quarter revenues fall 10 pct, EBITDA down 11 pct
* Net profit plummets 90 pct to $39 mln
MOSCOW, May 14 Vimpelcom, Russia's
third-biggest mobile operator with assets in Italy and several
emerging markets, cut its full-year sales and profit guidance on
Wednesday citing a challenging environment in many markets.
Vimpelcom now expects declines in revenues and core profit,
or EBITDA, "of a low to mid single digit", compared with earlier
guidance for flat revenue and EBITDA.
"We previously indicated our expectation that 2014 would be
a challenging year and the Q1 results reflect the more difficult
trading environment," CEO Jo Lunder said in a statement.
The company reported a 10 percent year-on-year fall in
first-quarter revenues to $5 billion and an 11 percent decline
in its earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and
amortisation. Net profit fell 90 percent to $39 million.
Vimpelcom said its Russian business unit continued to see
pressure as it fought for customer loyalty. Italy remained
challenging because of heavy price competition, and its
businesses in Africa and Asia had been squeezed by tough
The company, which this year scrapped dividends to free up
cash to repay its more than $20 billion debt, also revised its
2014 net debt to EBITDA target to around 2.4 from 2.3.
Vimpelcom's biggest shareholders are Russian billionaire
Mikhail Fridman's Alfa Group and Norwegian telecoms group
(Reporting by Maria Kiselyova, editing by Elizabeth Piper)