Telecom Argentina swings back into the black despite 4Q loss and inflation adjustment

11 Mar 2004

Telecom Argentina says that it will invest USD160 million in its fixed and wireless businesses this year, with particular focus on its GSM and ADSL networks. The telco made the announcement following the release of its 2003 financials. In the twelve months to the end of December Telecom reported a profit of ARS351 million, a sharp improvement on the ARS4.39 billion net loss of 2002 despite an ARS428 million loss in the fourth quarter, which the company attributed to the depreciation of the Argentine peso. Due to an inflation adjustment imposed by the country’s stock market regulator last year revenues fell 6% year-on-year to ARS3.75 billion; without the adjustment revenues would have risen by an estimated 16%. Wireline revenues were down 12% to ARS1.95 billion (they would have been 12% higher without adjustment), whilst ISP subsidiary Arnet reported a 7% fall to ARS61 million (up 33%). Strongest performers were the company’s mobile businesses, which reported a 12% hike in revenues to ARS1.6 billion (up 35%) as Telecom’s Argentine customer base – controlled through its Telecom Personal subsidiary – expanded by 19% to total 2.63 million.