November 6, 2013 / 6:46 AM / 4 years ago

REFILE-Vimpelcom's Q3 earnings fall 53 pct, hit by tax charge

MOSCOW, Nov 6 (Reuters) - Telecoms group Vimpelcom, with assets in Russia, Italy and various emerging markets, said on Wednesday its third-quarter earnings fell 53 percent year-on-year, hit by a tax expense as well as regulatory and competitive pressures.

The company, which has more than $20 billion debt accumulated by expanding outside Russia in 2011, reported a $255 million net profit attributable to shareholders for the three months ended Sept. 30, compared with $538 million a year ago.

Earnings were hit by a deferred tax provision related to future dividend payments from Vimpelcom’s Russian unit to its parent.

The company declared an interim dividend of $0.45 per share and will return to shareholders, of which the biggest are Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman’s Altimo and Norway’s Telenor, a total of $791 million.

Its total revenue fell 1 percent in the third quarter to $5.7 billion and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) decreased 2 percent to $2.5 billion, below market expectations.

Analysts had forecast net income of $504 million, revenue of $5.8 billion and EBITDA of $2.52 billion, according to Thomson Reuters’ I/B/E/S.

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