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Sistema swings to net loss on mobile unit write-off

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MOSCOW, Sept 13 (Reuters) - Russian holding company Sistema said it swung to a $161.9 million net loss in the second quarter, hit by a $1.1 billion write-off at its mobile unit MTS, whose licence was suspended in the central Asian state of Uzbekistan.

Revenues at Sistema, which also counts mid-sized oil company Bashneft and childrens' goods retailer Detsky Mir among its assets, decreased by 6.3 percent, year-on-year, to $8.1 billion, it said in a Thursday statement.

Without the MTS Uzbek write-off, the company's net profit increased by 22.8 percent year-on-year to $407.8 million, thanks to a reduction in administrative and depreciation expenses, Sistema said.

The revenue fall was due to the depreciation of the Russian rouble, the main operating currency of its units, against the dollar, their reporting currency, Sistema said.

It said that the rouble declined 10.8 percent in the second quarter, when compared to the same period of last year.

In the second-quarter of 2011, Sistema made $332 million in net profit.

Operating income before depreciation and amortisation, or OIBDA, before the write-off, decreased by 7.2 percent to $1.2 billion.

"Ongoing improvements in MTS' business profitability, increased export duties and lower oil prices at Bashneft were the key factors influencing the Group's OIBDA," Sistema said in the statement.

The company managed to cut its debt in the second quarter by more than half from last year, to $5.3 million.

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