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SSA - AFK Sistema PAO News Story

$5.4 -0.1  -1.5%

Last Trade - 18/09/20

Sector
Telecoms
Size
Mid Cap
Market Cap £2.00bn
Enterprise Value £8.90bn
Revenue £6.04bn
Position in Universe 268th / 1807

UPDATE 1-Sistema flags higher dividend after return to profit

Tue 16th April, 2013 10:40am

* Q4 net profit $200.9 mln vs year-ago loss of $530.2 mln

* Board to consider dividend hike on Saturday - CEO

(Adds details from press conference, background)

MOSCOW, April 16 (Reuters) - Russian oil-to-telecoms conglomerate Sistema SSAq.L AFKS.MM said it was in a position to pay a "substantially" higher dividend after it swung to profit in the fourth quarter of last year compared with a loss in the same period the year before.

The company, whose biggest assets are Russia's top mobile phone operator MTS MBT.N and mid-sized oil producer Bashneft

BANE.MM , said on Tuesday it made a net profit of $200.9 million in the last three months of 2012 versus a net loss of $530.2 million the same time the previous year.

That loss was due to a near $700 million write-off related to a decision by India's Supreme Court to cancel licenses held by its local telecom unit SSTL over alleged irregularities in the way they were awarded in 2008. ID:nL6E8FQ4BL

Sistema, controlled by billionaire Vladimir Evtushenkov, said management planned to persuade the board to approve a "substantially" higher dividend for last year, confirming intentions first announced last November. ID:nL5E8ML7OB

Chief Executive Mikhail Shamolin told a news conference the board would consider the management's dividend recommendations at a meeting on Saturday, without providing details.

He also said Sistema was still in talks to acquire European petroleum product firm Argos as well as Russian drugmaker Veropharm VRPH.MM - plans unveiled last year but which have been held back by a failure to agree with the sellers on price.

Sistema, which also has assets in banking, retail, high technology and agriculture, has been making acquisitions to further diversify its portfolio.

The firm bid for fewer licences than it originally had in the Indian telecoms auction re-run last month and said it would hold back on major investment in its Indian unit to concentrate on making the operation profitable. ID:nL5N0CW2NY

Its underlying fourth-quarter net profit, excluding non-cash items, rose 37 percent year-on-year to $357.9 million, while revenues were up 13 percent to $9.45 billion.

Its full-year net profit stood at $946.8 million, up from $218 million in 2011, with revenues rising 4 percent to $34.24 billion, boosted by growth at MTS and higher sales at Bashneft.

(Reporting by Maria Kiselyova and Katya Golubkova; Editing by Megan Davies and Mark Potter)

((maria.kiselyova@thomsonreuters.com)(+7 495 775 1242)(Reuters Messaging: maria.kiselyova.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

Keywords: RUSSIA SISTEMA/RESULTS

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