1 IN. DI LETTURA
* Posts loss on $437 mln non-cash charge
* Improves subscriber numbers by 13 pct
* Will pay 2011 dividend of 0.80 cents
MOSCOW, March 13 (Reuters) - Russian mobile phone group Vimpelcom posted a net loss of $386 million in the fourth quarter, hit by non-cash items, while its mobile subscriber base increased 13 percent during the same period to 205 million.
The company, which has operations in Italy and North Africa as well as its Russia and CIS heartland, said it had taken a $437 million non-cash writedown during the three months to end December.
Earnings before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortisation (EBITDA), fell 3 percent to $2.2 billion.
Vimpelcom, which has long been a battleground for biggest shareholders Telenor of Norway and Russia's Altimo, said it was improving its performance in Russia where it has recently lost market share.
It will pay a full year dividend of 0.80 cents per share for 2011, and is committed to a pay-out of at least that until 2014.