Russia's Golden Goes Out With a Bang

Russian fixed-line operator Golden Telecom Inc. gave new owner VimpelCom Ltd. (NYSE: VIP) a boost by revealing a significant increase in annual revenues and profits for 2007. (See Report: VimpelCom to Buy Golden and Vimpelcom, Golden Complete Merger.)

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) , Golden Telecom, which was listed on the Nasdaq until its acquisition by the Russian mobile operator, revealed 2007 revenues of nearly $1.3 billion, up from $855 million in 2006.

Full year net income was $152.6 million, up from $85.5 million in 2006.

The filing also revealed that Golden is continuing to invest in its broadband access rollout, which include DSL and fiber-to-the-building (FTTB) investments. That rollout has already delivered a ramp in the company's broadband customer base. (See Golden Boasts Broadband Success and Golden Deploys AlcaLu.)

Golden says it provides FTTB services to 375,200 subscribers in around 10 cities, including Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Nizhny Novgorod, and that it plans to offer VOIP and IPTV services to those customers in the future. The carrier plans to take fiber to businesses and multi-tenant blocks in 65 cities in Russia and the Ukraine. (See Golden Fibers Nizhny.)

Fiber access is becoming more prevalent across Western and Eastern Europe, with various technologies being deployed to deliver next-generation broadband access to the region's homes and businesses. (See TeliaSonera Commits to FTTx, Asia, Europe Dominate FTTH Elite, and Report: EMEA Set for FTTH Surge.)

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

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