Uralsvyazinform generated revenues of Rub 1.451 bn in the first six months of 2002, which is up 50% compared to same period last year. The company's rising revenues were mainly driven by the rapid pace of its cellular business. Capex stood at Rub 1.08 bn, up 23% year on year. The solid growth in revenues over expenses allowed Uralsvyazinform to raise its gross profit to Rub 352.3 mn, while EBITDA rose to Rub 597.6 mn. However, an increase in foreign currency exchange differences (the euro) under hard-currency denominated contracts resulted in a reduction of pre-tax and net profits compared to the same period last year.
During the first six months of 2002 the company built and commissioned its primary digital network, which includes three intra-zonal telecom lines which are 51.04 km long. These lines were built using domestically manufactured equipment: TLS-31, produced by Morion, Perm and RRO 9470 LN, made by Alcatel Italia. In addition, contracts have been concluded for the delivery of two long-distance Alcatel switching facilities with a capacity of 18,000 ports, to be installed in Perm and Surgut. Local telephone exchanges with a total line capacity of 10,100 have also been entered into service, thus raising the number of the company's total lines in service to 664,400. The local telephone exchanges were delivered by two telecom manufacturers: ZAO JV Beto Khuavey (Ufa) and BroadAccess ADC (Israel). The company had a total of 597,000 fixed line customers as of H1 2002, which represents a year-on-year growth of 34,500 subscribers.
The company has also expanded the switching capacity of its GSM 900/1800 Alcatel network from 50,000 to 150,000 lines, and entered into service 42 base stations using the NMT-450 and GSM-900 standards. The expansion was engineered using DAMM-BS-NMT-450i equipment (Denmark), BTS 312 (Khuavey, China), MBTS G-2 (Germany), Evolium A9100 Medi (Germany), Evolium A9100 Mini (Germany) and MSC/VLR (Alcatel, Germany). The number of wireless customers reached 99,300, including 83,600 GSM customers.
The company's new services also include a multi-service network (second start-up facility), the construction of which is to be finished in June, and which was built using imported equipment from Plus Communication (USA).
On June 10, 2002 the Federal Securities Committee of Russia registered an issue of shares and bonds of Uralsvyazinform, which are to swapped into securities of the telecom operators taking part in the Urals region mega-merger. The next round of activity in the regional merger process includes shutting down the merged entities, which will thereafter cease to exist as legal entities, as well as transferring the property and financial assets of the merger participants.