VEON Chief Executive Jean-Yves Charlier talked up a “robust” second quarter at the operator as sales and EBITDA both rose on the back of growing subscriber numbers.

Like-for-like revenues increased 3.7 percent year-on-year to $2.4 billion as the company reported growth in four of the six major markets in which it operates.

The total number of mobile customers rose 6.9 percent to 208 million, while the number of fixed-line subscribers grew 4.6 percent to 3.5 million.  

Sales grew three percent in Russia, its largest market, to $1.2 billion as mobile data revenues jumped 17.8 percent.

Pakistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan registered revenue growth of 6.9 percent, 10 percent and 20 percent respectively.

Algeria saw sales decline eight percent, while Bangladesh dropped by three percent.

VEON cited high inflation and tax increases for the fall in Algeria and said the “challenging environment” was set to continue.

In Bangladesh, the operator said it was suffering from a lack of spectrum.

Group EBITDA rose 10.6 percent to $931 million on the back of revenue growth, largely thanks to Pakistan, which recorded a rise of 28.3 percent.

EBITDA also rose in Ukraine and Uzbekistan but fell in the three other markets.

Last month, VEON launched its new mobile internet app in Russia, Ukraine, Georgia and Pakistan as it looks to set itself apart in the market.

Charlier said: "I am pleased to report a robust second quarter with continued double-digit growth in revenues and EBITDA.

“We observed further revenue growth in our core markets of Russia, Pakistan and Ukraine, which saw strong demand for our mobile data services.

“This momentum translated into further increases in underlying equity free cash flow, allowing us to confirm 2017 guidance.”

Read more: VEON adds Xerox veteran, former Vodafone UK CEO to its board

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