Telecom Argentina has reported a net profit of ARS1.6 billion (USD539 million) for the first nine months of 2005, compared to an ARS491 million loss in the same period of 2004. Profit for the third quarter stood at ARS1.17 billion, compared to a loss of ARS261 million a year earlier. The telco attributed the gain to the completion of its debt restructuring in August. EBITDA represented 37% of net sales for the first nine months of the year, and 35% for the third quarter, compared to 46% and 44% respectively in 2004. Consolidated net revenues totalled ARS4.06 billion for the nine month period, up 26% year-on-year, a rise which the telco attributed to an increase in the number of mobile customers during the period. Of the total revenues, fixed line operations accounted for ARS387 million, internet and data transmission ARS342 million and mobile services ARS1.76 billion.
At the end of September, Telecom claimed 3.58 million fixed line subscribers, up 4% y-o-y, 188,000 ADSL subscribers, an increase of 66%, and 5.31 million mobile subscribers via its cellular arm Telecom Personal, up 57%, of which 3.58 million were pre-paid and 1.73 million contract customers. Mobile ARPU stood at ARS36 for the nine month period, up 3% on the figure for 2004. Telecom’s Paraguayan subsidiary, Nucleo, claimed 591,000 customers at the end of September, up 29%.