Greek incumbent Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation (OTE) has reported first quarter 2005 sales of EUR1.3 billion, up 6% from the corresponding period last year. Net income almost doubled to EUR91 million. The increase in quarterly turnover reflects a 14% rise in revenue from OTE’s main mobile operations (Cosmote in Greece, GloBul in Bulgaria, Albanian operator AMC, ArmenTel in Armenia and CosmoFon in Macedonia), and a 12% hike in sales at Romanian fixed line telco RomTelecom, more than off-setting the 1% decline from the company’s domestic fixed line segment.
OTE has struggled in recent months but is undergoing major structural changes in a bid to turn things around: Globul and AMC are being transferred to Cosmote, and the company is awaiting a response from the Romanian Communications Ministry to its proposal to relaunch failed cellco CosmoRom under the management of Cosmote. Commenting on the results, Chairman and CEO Panagis Courloumis reiterated that ‘while the pace of progress on structural issues is slow… we are determined to stay the course’. Courloumis went on to say ‘there are clear signs of improvement in the first quarter results,’ before issuing a warning that ‘much work still lies ahead before we can say that OTE has turned the corner’.