Belgacom has reported a net profit for the six months ended 30 June 2004 of EUR506 million, a 10% increase on the year earlier period and well above analysts’ expectations of an 8% fall. Sales climbed 1.3% to EUR2.75 billion despite tough competition in both the wireline and wireless markets. The telco reported a steady decline in fixed line traffic, but managed to counter this by concentrating on high speed broadband services. Proximus, the group’s wireless arm, maintained its dominant market share of 52.2%, with 4.23 million customers at the end of June. EBITDA for the half year rose 4.8% to EUR1.24 billion from EUR1.18 billion, despite high costs resulting from salary indexations and marketing initiatives designed to win back customers.