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Mobile TeleSystems soon to pay 40-50% of net profit in dividends

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MOSCOW, June 15 (RIA Novosti) - Mobile TeleSystems (RTS: MTSS, NYSE: MBT) plans to pay 40-50% of its net profit calculated to U.S. GAAP in dividends in the next few years, the company's financial director said Thursday.

Vsevolod Rozanov said the board of Russia's largest cellular operator had recommended paying out dividends of $562 million for 2005, or $1.4 per share, which was 50% of the company's net profit last year.

He said 2005 dividends could exceed those paid out in 2004 by 10%.

On Thursday, MTS reported a 20.7% year-on-year decline in net profit for January-March 2006, to $184.4 million.

MTS posted a U.S. GAAP net profit of $1.13 billion in 2005, a 14% increase on 2004.

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