16 Jul 2009 15:31

Russia's Tattelecom sees sales revenue edge down 1% in H1

KAZAN. July 16 (Interfax) - Russia's Tattelecom saw sales revenue under Russian accounting standards (RAS) decline 1% to 2.58 billion rubles in the first half of 2009 from 2.606 billion rubles in the same period of 2008, Tattelecom first deputy general director Denis Ulesov said at a meeting of the Tatarstan information and communications ministry in Kazan on Thursday.

Revenue from new communications services, specifically high-speed Internet and IP telephones, grew 26% to 523 million rubles in the period, he said.

Tattelecom invested 204 million rubles in the development of infrastructure in the reporting period. "A large chunk of the funds was spent on the development of priority projects such as IP television and broadband Internet access," he said.

The company drew up and began implementing an anti-crisis program in December that includes measures aimed at improving its financial stability and liquidity, increasing revenue and reducing expenditures, he said. The company cut spending by 45 million rubles in the first half of 2009 as a result of the program, he said.

Ulesov told Interfax that Tattelecom managed to reduce debt to 3.3 billion rubles in the half from 3.4 billion rubles.

Tattelecom refinanced 1.8 billion rubles worth of debt in the period by attracting new loans at lower interest rates, prolonging loans in addition to the Central Bank cutting its refinancing rate, he said. In addition, the company placed 1.3 billion rubles worth of fourth-series bonds on the secondary market that were earlier bought back as part of an offer.

Tattelecom is the largest fixed-line provider in Tatarstan. Svyazinvestneftekhim, which belongs to the regional government, owns an 87.207% stake in Tattelecom.