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Telekom Austria Blames Belarus 'Hyperinflation' For Big Loss

Telekom Austria is blaming “hyperinflation” in Belarus for playing a key role in the firm's net loss of 252.8 million euros in 2011.

That's a decline of 4.2 percent in revenues for the company over the previous year.

In a statement posted on its website ( on February 23, Telekom Austria said it had booked a charge of 279 million euros on its Belarusian Velcom unit in the 2011 fourth quarter.

The statement cited a 63 percent devaluation of the Belarusian ruble against the euro, and a jump in Belarus inflation of 108 percent.

In 2007, Telekom Austria bought a 70-percent stake in Velcom, Belarus's second-biggest mobile operator, acquiring the remaining 30 percent in 2010.

Telekom Austria says it made a profit of 195.2 million euros in 2010.