Golden Says Profit Jumped 78% in 2007

Golden Telecom, a fixed-line telephone and Internet services provider taken over by VimpelCom, said profit jumped 78 percent last year on increased traffic.

Net income advanced to $152.6 million from $85.5 million in 2006, the company said in a U.S. regulatory filing late Monday. Profit included a $41.3 million gain from the sale of MCT, a phone company in Central Asia. Revenue climbed 51 percent to $1.29 billion from $854.6 million the previous year.

VimpelCom, the country's second-largest mobile phone company, agreed to buy then Nasdaq-listed Golden Telecom in December for around $4.3 billion to create the country's first integrated mobile and fixed-line provider. The company brings more than 400,000 broadband Internet customers to VimpelCom and gives it a foothold in fixed-line services.

Golden Telecom CEO Jean-Pierre Vandromme will stay with the firm, Vedomosti reported Tuesday, citing an unidentified person close to the company. VimpelCom spokeswoman Yelena Prokhorova and Golden Telecom spokeswoman Anastasia Borzova declined to comment on the report.

Under Vandromme's employment agreement, he is entitled to receive a cash payment equal to two times his annual salary, plus a bonus payment, if there is a change in control of the company. Vandromme's salary was increased to $600,000 last year. Last year, Vandromme, 53, earned a total of $7.7 million, including more than $6.4 million in option awards, according to the filing.