Greek incumbent OTE has posted a lower than expected third quarter loss on the back of significant reductions in its workforce and continued strong performance at its mobile business. The telco reported a net loss of EUR541 million (USD633 million) for the three months to the end of September 2005, around EUR350 million less than expected. The operator said EBITDA loss was EUR336.4 million, down from a profit of EUR455.9 million a year earlier. Sales rose 3% to EUR1.411 billion, despite a 2.7% fall in fixed line revenues to EUR679.4 million as mobile division Cosmote and subsidiary RomTelecom helped balance the books. Romanian operator RomTelecom saw its net profit rocket 198% in the period to EUR109.2 million, on the back of a 6.9% rise in revenues to EUR232.6 million.
OTE is currently implementing an early retirement plan to trim around a third of its workforce and around 5,500 workers from its main fixed line unit will retire early next year. The operator booked a charge of EUR912.9 million in the third quarter and has budgeted a total EUR1.1 billion for the lay-offs; the government hopes that the European Union will help by shouldering around 4% of the cost.