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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Telecoms Ring in Rubles As 2001 Revenues Surge

The nation's telecommunications companies generated revenues of 186 billion rubles ($5.99 billion) in 2001, 40.4 percent more than in 2000, Communications Minister Leonid Reiman said.

Speaking at a Communications Ministry meeting Monday, Reiman said the revenues of traditional operators totaled 85 billion rubles, while alternative operators' revenues came to 101 billion rubles.

Svyazinvest's net profit increased 18 percent to reach 9 billion rubles according to the preliminary results, said the holding's general director, Valery Yashin. Revenues grew 24.8 percent and totaled 91.6 billion rubles. The biggest increase -- 42.1 percent -- was seen in revenues from services offered to individuals.

Sales totaled 22.1 billion rubles, a 22.1 increase over 2000. The revenue per line was 3,400 rubles with a profit of 823 rubles, he said.

"These figures show that this is one of the fastest-growing industries in the country," said Nadezhda Golubeva, an analyst at the Aton investment group.

"In real terms, according to the data from the State Statistics Committee, the industry grew 20 percent in 2001, while GDP grew 5 percent," she said.

Golubeva said Svyazinvest's preliminary results were quite predictable. "The figures show that Svyazinvest grew more slowly than the industry, and it means that they continue losing their share of the market to alternative operators."

Yevgeny Golosnoi of Troika Dialog said the rate of growth of Svyazinvest's revenues was comparable to that of 2000.

"The only way to increase profitability is to bring the tariffs up at least to the level of covering the costs," he said.

According to the Anti-Monopoly Ministry's estimates, tariffs for local telephones in most of the regional fixed-line operators cover costs, Deputy Anti-Monopoly Minister Anatoly Golomzin told the meeting. However, he added that this was not the case with 20 of the operators.

But the Communications Ministry said the figure was higher. According to its data, 57 out of 87 regional operators still don't have their costs covered by the current tariffs.

The information technologies market grew 18 percent in 2001, Reiman said. The total number of computers exceeded 11 million, meaning there are now 7.5 computers for every 100 people, compared with 6.4 per 100 in 2000.

Reiman said the value of services of the Internet in Russia grew by 50 percent to $220 million. The number of regular Internet users in Russia totaled 4.3 million.

Investments in Russia's communications industry exceeded 61 billion rubles, with 37.5 billion rubles coming from within the country, a 50 percent increase over 2000, said Reiman.

One of the priority tasks the industry faces this year is to introduce time-based billing in most of the country's regions, he said.