Brasilia-based holding company Brasil Telecom Participaçoes (BRT) [NYSE: BRP] has reported a 69.8% rise in net income for the year 2002 from BRL262 million to BRL443 million. The company has attributed the increase to solid operational growth and tariff increases. Revenues for the year rose by 14.8% to BRL7.07 billion, driven by sales increases of 10.6% in local services, 27.5% in long-distance, 20.6% in fixed-to-mobile interconnection and 55.5% in data services, while EBITDA also showed significant improvement of 26.5% on 2001. The group’s net debt stood at BRL2.6 billion at the end of 2002. BRT’s main subsidiary, fixed line telco Brasil Telecom, had 10.5 million lines installed by the end of the year, of which 89.7% – 9.47 million – were in service, an increase of 3.5% on 2001. It also claimed to have 168,400 ADSL lines installed, 140,700 of which were in service, an increase of 314%. Brasil Telecom plans to invest around BRL1.6 billion in its networks and services during 2003, splitting the funds between data services, its local loop network and IT equipment. The telco is also planning a series of acquisitions during the year, including the purchase of stakes in business service provider MetroRed Brasil and long-distance operator Intelig. The operator plans to expand into the mobile sector by the end of 2003 with the launch of PCS services; it hopes to build its cellular customer base by targeting its ten million local service customers.