Hellenic Telecoms says profits down 90.4 pct in 2010

Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation (OTE) on Friday said its consolidated turnover had declined

8.0 pct to 5.483 billion euros in 2010, hit by the consequences of an economic crisis in the country.

Consolidated turnover fell 12.4 pct in the fourth quarter of 2010, compared with the same period in 2009, to 1.330 billion euros, while EBITDA fell 39.2 pct to 311 million euros and on an annual basis fell by 20.5 pct to 1.748 billion euros.

OTE reported a loss of 91.7 million euros in the fourth quarter of 2010, hit by an extra charge of 129.8 million euros caused by a voluntary retirement scheme and a 77.6 pct burden of fixed-assets write off in RomTelecom. OTE reported a 90.4 pct decline in its 12-month net profits to 39.6 million euros, down from 410.9 million euros in 2009.

In Greece, turnover from fixed-telephony operations fell by 10.1 pct to 2.17 billion euors in 2010, while turnover was down 15.8 pct in the fourth quarter of the year. OTE reported a quarterly loss of 79.3 million euros despite the fact that it managed to increase its customer base thanks to an aggressive advertising campaing.

RomTelecom reported an 11.2 pct decline in its fourth quarter turnover to 170.1 million euros and a loss of 270.3 million euros.

Cosmote improved its position in the Greek market and maintained its market shares in Bulgaria, Romania and Albania, with its customer base totaling 21 million in the fourth quarter, slightly down from the third quarter of 2010. Cosmote said its turnover fell 17 pct in Greece in the fourth quarter to 429.9 million euros and its customer base totaled 8.0 million, down 13.3 pct. Cosmote ranks first in the domestic mobile broadband internet market.

Cosmote’s subsidiaries in Albania and Bulgaria reported an 8.6 pct and a 2.5 pct decline in turnover, respectively, to 26.7 million euros in Albania and 10.7 million euros in Bulgaria in the fourth quarter. AMC’s customer base rose 6.0 pct to around 2.0 million euros, while Globul’s customer base grew 7.0 pct to 3.9 million.

Cosmote’s subsidiary in Romania reported an 1.8 pct increase in turnover to 121.5 million euros, with a customer base of 6.9 million euros and an EBITDA soaring 202.4 pct.

Mihalis Tsamaz, OTE’s chairman and chief executive, commenting on the results said the group managed to put a break on a decline in operating earnings and cash flow, although net profits were negatively affected by write offs in Romania and the cost of voluntary retirement program. “In 2011 we will make every effort to stop a decline in revenues and profitability, trying to ensure a long-term value for our shareholders,” he said.

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