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Turkcell Chief Sees Profit, Sales at High End of Forecasts

Nov. 16 (Bloomberg) -- Turkcell Iletisim Hizmetleri AS, Turkey’s biggest mobile-phone operator, will reach the higher end of its full-year forecast as it adds customers more quickly than planned, its chief executive officer said.

The phone company will finish 2012 in the upper part of a range of 10.3 billion liras ($5.7 billion) to 10.4 billion liras for revenue, and 3.1 billion liras to 3.2 billion liras for earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, Sureyya Ciliv said in an interview yesterday.

That compares with analyst estimates for sales of 10.3 billion liras and Ebitda of 3.1 billion liras, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Turkcell, owned by TeliaSonera AB, Moscow-based Altimo and Cukurova Holding AS of Turkey, is counting on broadband and mobile-data services for growth as it tries to defend its 52 percent share in its domestic wireless market against Vodafone Group Plc and Avea Iletisim Hizmetleri AS.

Ciliv said the main shareholders now show “progress at least in attitude and behavior in the boardroom toward cooperation” after battling for control over the Istanbul-based company. That will hopefully facilitate the appointment of independent board members, which regulators have demanded, he said.

Turkcell shares fell 5 kurus to 10.85 liras at 10:02 a.m. Istanbul time. The stock has gained 22 percent this year.

Majority Stake

The carrier, which also has operations in Kazakhstan, Georgia, Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova, may broaden its footprint as long as acquisitions give it a majority stake in target operators, Ciliv said.

Turkcell will “hopefully” decide to pay dividends again next year after skipping payouts for 2010 and 2011, the CEO said. The company would also consider buying back shares if regulators approved such a move, he added.

The company has held discussions with Virgin Mobile and other phone companies to start a so-called mobile virtual network operator in Turkey, he said. Currently, such an operator, which would offer services without having its own grid, would be subject to “double taxation,” a situation authorities aren’t currently prepared to change, he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Cornelius Rahn in Barcleona at crahn2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kenneth Wong at kwong11@bloomberg.net

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