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Russia's MegaFon Q2 earnings down on forex loss



MOSCOW, Aug 9 (Reuters) - IPO-hopeful MegaFon, Russia's second-largest mobile phone operator, said on Thursday its second-quarter net profit fell 85 percent, year-on-year, due to foreign exchange losses.

Net profit fell to 1.7 billion roubles ($53.84 million) from 11.3 billion roubles a year ago, the firm said in a statement, blaming the fall on a forex loss on its in creased do llar-denominated debt as the rouble weakened against the U.S. unit.

The rouble's average rate against the dollar in the second quarter of this year was 9.7 percent weaker than in the corresponding period of last year, according to Reuters calculations.

MegaFon borrowed $4.5 billion in April to help finance a buyout of Mikhail Fridman's 25.1 percent stake as part of a deal that handed control to Russia's richest man Alisher Usmanov.

The company's second-quarter revenues rose 14 percent, year-on-year, to 66.8 billion roubles.

Operating income before depreciation and amortisation (OIBDA) increased 12 percent to 28.3 billion roubles, for an OIBDA margin of 42.3 percent compared to 43.1 percent the year earlier.

The number of the company’s active mobile phone users grew by 0.8 percent on the previous quarter to 63.6 million subscribers.

MegaFon, ranked second to Russian market leader MTS, plans to list up to 20 percent on the London stock exchange in a deal expected to raise $4 billion during the second half of 2012.



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