Turkey’s largest cellco by customers Turkcell has posted a 29% annual rise in third-quarter net profit driven by strong subscriber take-up and favourable currency exchange rates. Turkcell said net profit in the three months ended September 2007 came in at USD401.2 million while turnover grew 44% year-on-year to USD1.7 billion and EBITDA rose 62% to USD771.5 million. A stronger Turkish lira boosted revenues in US dollars, although it also increased financial costs. The subscriber base grew 13% year-on-year in the quarter and ARPU rose 26% to USD15.3 due to the stronger lira and price hikes. Next year Turkcell expects ARPU to rise in lira terms and subscriber growth to slow compared to 2007. Churn increased 1.6% year-on-year to 5.7% in the third quarter and Turkcell said the rate in 2008 would be a few points higher than this year, assuming mobile number portability legislation is introduced in the second half as expected. Turkcell also said its Ukrainian subsidiary Astelit posted positive EBITDA for the first time with core earnings of USD2.9 million. However, Turkcell, which has already financially restructured Astelit, said it may have to contribute to financing the unit with equity next year.