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UPDATE 1-Kazakhstan No.1 mobile firm KCell H1 net profit eases 0.7 pct
July 17, 2013 / 6:01 AM / 4 years ago

UPDATE 1-Kazakhstan No.1 mobile firm KCell H1 net profit eases 0.7 pct

* KCell net profit down to $191 mln in Jan-June

* KCell to focus on cash generation, remain local market leader-CEO (Adds KCell CEO quotes, details)

ALMATY, July 17 (Reuters) - Kazakhstan’s largest mobile phone operator, KCell , said on Wednesday its net profit decreased by 0.7 percent year-on-year in the first half of 2013 to 29.2 billion tenge ($191 million).

Revenue rose by 4.1 percent to 89.3 billion tenge, boosted by growth in data services, KCell quoted its CEO Ali Agan as saying.

It was not immediately clear why net profit decreased in the first half of this year.

KCell, controlled by Swedish-based TeliaSonera, said its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisaion (EBITDA), excluding non-recurring items, rose 1.5 percent in the first half of 2013 to 42.9 billion tenge.

The company, which raised $525 million when it went public on the London Stock Exchange in December, raised its subscriber base to 14.1 million in January-June, Agan said.

Kazakhstan, which occupies a territory the size of Western Europe but is populated by just 17 million, is Central Asia’s largest economy and the second-largest post-Soviet oil producer after Russia.

$1 = 152.76 tenge Reporting by Dmitry Solovyov; Editing by Ron Popeski and David Cowell

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