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Russia's Comstar UTS net profit rises 39% in 1Q06

MOSCOW, July 12 (RIA Novosti) - Comstar United Telesystems (RTS: CMST, LSE: CMST) said Wednesday its U.S. GAAP net profit had risen 39% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2006 to $39.1 million.

Comstar UTS, the largest multi-service communications operator in Moscow and the Moscow Region, which operates in several Russian regions and former Soviet republics, said its consolidated earnings had grown 22% year-on-year in January-March 2006 to $249.8 million, against $204.6 million a year earlier.

The company, formed in November 2004 through a merger of Comstar, MTU-Inform and Telmos, attributed earnings growth to steadily rising demand for data transmission and Internet services from individuals and corporate clients, and also to a rise in regulated tariffs and regional expansion.

Comstar UTS also said its operating profit had grown 20% in the first quarter to $75.4 million.

The company's main shareholder is AFK Sistema (RTS: AFKS), which holds a 54.58% stake.

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