TIM Hellas’ 2004 results stable, as suitors line up for TI stake

18 Feb 2005

Greek mobile operator TIM Hellas reported total operating revenues of EUR839.8 million in 2004, up 3.9% year-on-year, and a 3.1% rise in service revenues to EUR785.5 million, despite a 31% decrease in fixed-to-mobile interconnection tariffs and a small fall in subscriber numbers from 2.4 million to 2.32 million. The rise in total operating revenues was attributed to a 29.6% increase in monthly fees, due to the popularity of the company’s bundled-minutes packages, higher mobile-to-mobile (M2M) interconnection revenues (up 34.6%), and increased handset sales, which rose by 16.5% year-on-year to EUR54.3 million. EBITDA for the full year fell by EUR32.1 million to EUR243.6 primarily the result of a lower contribution from fixed-to-mobile interconnection and one-off costs associated with rebranding, the Mobitel case and compensation expenses relating to a share capital increase in November 2004.

Commenting on the fall in subscribers, TIM Hellas said that it was due to an ‘overall lower pre-paid customer base’ and competition in a mature market. At the end of December the cellco said that 34.6% of its customer base was made up of pre-pay users, although the figure compares unfavourably with the 34% figure reported a year ago. Nonetheless, TIM Hellas strengthened its retention of higher value users in 2004 – illustrated by higher cellphone usage – and reported a 13.9% rise in total traffic and a 25.5% increase in monthly AMOU to 106.4 minutes. Consequently, monthly blended ARPU rose by 13.7% to EUR27.1, supported by a rise in contract ARPU to EUR49.9 (6.6%) and in pre-paid to EUR13 (12.4%).

The Greek company’s financial results come in the wake of yesterday’s announcement that Telecom Italia (TI) is contemplating an exit from Greece by selling its 80.7% stake in TIM Hellas. According to Dow Jones, private equity firm Apax Partners is among a list of companies reportedly interested in buying the operator.

Greece, Wind Hellas (OLD don't use)