VimpelCom's CEO Discusses Q1 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

VimpelCom Ltd. (VIP)

Q1 2012 Earnings Call

May 15, 2012 08:00 am ET


Alexandra Tramont – Vice President, Investor Relations

Jo O. Lunder – Chief Executive Officer

Henk van Dalen – Chief Financial Officer


Cesar Tiron – Morgan Stanley & Co.

Alexander Kazbegi – Renaissance Capital

Dalibor Vavruska – ING

JP Davids – Barclays Capital

Dalibor Vavruska – Citigroup

Alexander Balakhnin – Goldman Sachs

Herve Drouet – HSBC Investment Bank Plc

Igor Semenov – Deutsche Bank

Victor Klimovich – VTB Capital



Good day ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the VimpelCom Ltd First Quarter 2012 Investor and Analyst Call. At this time all participants are in a listen-only mode. Later we’ll conduct a question-and-answer session and instructions will follow at that time. (Operator Instructions) As a reminder, this conference is being recorded.

I would now like to introduce your host for today’s conference, Alexandra Tramont. Please go ahead.

Alexandra Tramont

Thank you. Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen, and good morning to those of you connecting from the U.S., and welcome to VimpelCom’s conference call to discuss the company’s first quarter 2012 financial and operating results. Before getting started, I would like to remind everyone that forward-looking statements made on this conference call involve certain risks and uncertainties.

These statements relate, in part to one, the company’s plans to maintain profitable growth in its business units, two, the company’s expected future debt position and refinancing plans, and three, the company’s financial performance objectives.

Certain factors may cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements, including the risks detailed in one, the company’s earnings release announcing first quarter 2012 financial and operating results and the related presentations, two, the company’s Annual Report on Form 20-F for the year ended December 31, 2011, and three, other public filings made by the company with the SEC, each of which are posted on the company’s website at and on the SEC’s website at

If you have not received a copy of the first quarter 2012 financial and operating results release, please contact investor relations at +31207977234 and it will be forwarded to you. In addition, the press release and the earnings presentation, each of which includes reconciliations of non-GAAP financial measures presented on this conference call can be downloaded from the company’s website.

At this time, I would like to turn the call over to Jo Lunder, Chief Executive Officer of VimpelCom. Jo, please go ahead.

Jo O. Lunder

Thank you. Good afternoon to those in Europe and good morning to our guests from the United States and welcome to our first quarter earnings presentation. Let me start by introducing the members of the team sitting with me here in Amsterdam. We have Henk van Dalen, our Chief Financial Officer, who will be covering the financials in detail later on the call and Gerbrand Nijman, our Head of Investor Relations.

Let me start with the highlights for the quarter. We are pleased with the progress we’re making. The group performance led to almost 6% organic growth in revenues year-over-year, reaching $5.6 billion. If we exclude forex impact, EBITDA increased 5% compared to the same period last year, leading to a margin of 31%.

We’re pleased with a positive trend shift in EBITDA growth in Russia, which rose 9% organically. Revenue and EBITDA also showed strong growth in Asia and Africa led by impressive performance in Pakistan. We achieved strong subscriber growth in the first quarter with an increase of 12% reaching 209 million mobile subscribers.

Our Asia and Africa business units witnessed strong subscriber growth of 19% exceeding the 86 million mark. Net income for the quarter reached $318 million. VimpelCom has not only delivered good revenue and EBITDA growth, but we have also delivered a solid cash flow generation with net cash from operating activities of $1.6 billion.

The cash flow targets combined with profitable growth are fundamental KPIs for our company on which we’re measuring our performance and again I am satisfied with the progress and the results we’re delivering in the first quarter.

Moving on to the strategic effect and some main recent events, as you all know our Orascom Telecom holding has submitted a formal notice or arbitration against the Government of Algeria. However, regardless of this notice, we would like to reiterate that we remain open and in discussions with the Algerian Government to finding a mutually beneficial resolution to the solution in Algeria. Recently, we also refinanced the significant part to our debt maturing in 2012 with the issuing of bonds in March and in April in Russia and Italy.

In the late April, VimpelCom announced the sale of its controlling interest in GTEL Mobile in Vietnam. This action reflects the company’s ongoing strategic portfolio analysis which is a core component of VimpelCom’s value agenda. The portfolio review is aimed at focusing on allocating capital to those markets were the company seize the best opportunities to generate shareholder value.

Also in April, the Russian Antimonopoly Service named VimpelCom as a third-party in its claim to validate Telenor’s February purchase of 234 million VimpelCom preferred shares from Weather II. In late April, a Russian court issued an injunction that prohibit VimpelCom from exercising certain specific shareholder rights in OJSC VimpelCom during the [tendency] of this case. However, the injunction does not prohibit VimpelCom from exercising its shareholder rights to approve dividend payments and to reelect the current OJSC Board members.

The first hearing on the merits of the fast claim is scheduled for October 17, 2012. And as previously announced, we plan to pay the final dividend for 2011 of [$0.35] per share before the end of June. And finally, we have appointed Maximo Ibarra, our CEO for our Italian business. Maximo has a strong track record in running the consumer business unit, the Wind, and broad experienced in both the telecom sector and in other industries. I’m confident that Wind Italy will continue its successful track record of performance under his leadership.

Read the rest of this transcript for free on

More from Stocks

Tesla's Elon Musk Just Told Short-Sellers They're Toast

Tesla's Elon Musk Just Told Short-Sellers They're Toast

Dow Tumbles, Stocks Slide on Renewed Trade War Concerns

Dow Tumbles, Stocks Slide on Renewed Trade War Concerns

Dropbox Soars in Third-Straight Record-Setting Session

Dropbox Soars in Third-Straight Record-Setting Session

Jim Cramer: Centene Is in All the Big Medicare Markets

Jim Cramer: Centene Is in All the Big Medicare Markets

Jim Cramer on the Markets: I Struggle With How Negative Things Are

Jim Cramer on the Markets: I Struggle With How Negative Things Are