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Mobile TeleSystems Announces Financial Results For The First Quarter Ended March 31, 2012

MOSCOW, May 21, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --

Mobile TeleSystems OJSC ("MTS" - NYSE: MBT), the leading telecommunications provider in Russia and the CIS, today announces its unaudited US GAAP financial results for the three months ended March 31, 2012.

Key Financial Highlights of Q1 2012

  • Consolidated revenues up 1.1% q-o-q to $3,014 million
  • Consolidated OIBDA [1] down 1.3% q-o-q to $1,259 million with 41.8% OIBDA margin
  • Consolidated net income [2] of $512 million
  • Free cash-flow [3] positive with $829 million for the first three months of 2012

Key Corporate and Industry Highlights

  • Commercial launch of the 3G network in the 900 MHz range in Moscow and the Moscow region
  • Redemption of $400 million 2012 Eurobond
  • Awarded first license in Russia to provide wireless communication services in the LTE TDD (time-division duplexing) standard in the 2595-2620 MHz range in Moscow and the Moscow region
  • Signing of an agreement with Samsung Electronics to cooperate on retail projects, equipment sales and telecommunication services in Russia
  • Annual dividend recommendation by the MTS Board of Directors of RUB 14.71 per ordinary MTS  share (approximately $1.01 per ADR [4]) for the 2011 fiscal year, amounting to a total of RUB 30.4 billion (approximately $1.04 billion or 72% of US GAAP net income)

Commentary

Andrei Dubovskov, President and CEO of MTS, commented, "Group revenue for the quarter increased 3% year-over-year to reach 3.01 billion US dollars.  We saw sustained growth in usage of voice and data products, although the exchange rate volatility masked the underlying growth dynamics in markets such as Russia and Armenia. For the period, total revenues in Russia increased in ruble terms by 6% year-over-year to 78.7 billion rubles, while mobile service revenue increased 8.6%.  Key drivers included higher usage of mobile voice and data products, and growth and expansion in our fixed-line business unit."

Alexey Kornya, MTS Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, said, "We witnessed significant improvement in profitability as we continue to emphasize retention and improve customer value.  For the period, we improved Group OIBDA at a rate significantly faster than revenue by 12% year-over-year to $1.26 billion US dollars.  Our OIBDA margin for the period reached 41.8%, an increase of 3.4 percentage points from Q1 2011.  Overall we are seeing success in our efforts to increase profitability in our operations as we saw OIBDA improvement in Russia, Ukraine and Armenia. In Russia, our OIBDA margin increased from 39.1% to 43.1Q1 2012. The improvement came on the back of a significant reduction in dealer commissions following our shift to revenue-sharing based commission structures, churn improvement and on-going efforts to manage costs."

Mr. Kornya continued, "Net income increased by nearly 60% year-over-year to $512 million.  Gains made on the bottom line tied to gross margin and OIBDA improvement were off-set largely by an increase in D&A expenses as we greatly expanded our networks in recent quarters.  We also benefitted from ruble appreciation for the period, which led to a non-cash foreign currency gain of $174 million. Given the fact that we are seeing an overall reduction of SIM-card sales and related easing of competitive pressures in Russia, we feel comfortable narrowing the range of our OIBDA margin guidance for 2012 to 41 - 42%."

Mr. Dubovskov added, "As has recently been announced, Roskomnadzor disclosed the conditions for the allocation of LTE licenses in the Russian Federation.  Obviously the clarity of the tender and framework for development are testament to the transparency of the Russian telecommunications market; we also share a commitment among both the regulator and operators to continue expanding access to telecommunications services and encourage further infrastructure development. Leveraging our current frequencies in the 2595 to 2620 MHz band, we recently launched a test zone for LTE TDD services in Moscow and the Moscow region.  While we are focused on an MTS-owned and operated LTE FDD network as a standard for all of Russia, we are examining complementary ways to ensure that we are among the first to market for LTE products and have a network capable of handling future growth in data."

This press release provides a summary of some of the key financial and operating indicators for the period ended March 31, 2012. For full disclosure materials, please visit http://www.mtsgsm.com/resources/reports/.

Learn more about MTS. Visit the official blog of the Investor Relations Department at http://www.mtsgsm.com/blog/

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