Telecom Argentina returns to profit

14 May 2003

Argentina’s second-largest fixed line operator, Telecom Argentina [NYSE:TEO] has reported a net profit of ARS907 million (USD324 million) for the first quarter of 2003, up from a net loss of ARS3.7 billion in the corresponding period of 2002. Revenues, however, dropped 38% to ARS851 million, while EBITDA fell 26% to ARS453 million. The telco attributed the rise in net profit to the appreciation of the peso, which improved from ARP3.37/USD1 in December 2002 to ARP2.98/USD1 at the end of March 2003. At that date, the telco reported 3.6 million fixed lines in service, a fall of 5% on the year-earlier period, while mobile clients at its subsidiaries Telecom Personal in Argentina and Nucleo in Paraguay grew 4% to 2.75 million. ADSL lines in service rose 28% to 32,000 with dial-up internet accounts falling 9% to 148,000.