Greek mobile market leader Cosmoté has reported a 13% rise in fourth quarter net profit, on the back of growth at its international units and increased traffic volumes in its domestic operations. Overall net income was EUR84.7 million (USD101.28 million) in the three months to 31 December, up from EUR74.9 million (USD89.56 million) a year earlier. The figures topped the expectations of a Dow Jones poll of seven analysts which put net profit at around EUR71 million. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) jumped by 16% to EUR184.8 million. Revenues rose 31% to EUR505.3 million, boosted by the healthy performance of the group’s subsidiaries in Bulgaria, Romania, Macedonia and Albania. In Bulgaria, Globul’s sales increased by 45% to EUR76.3 million, while AMC in Albania achieved a 7.5% gain to EUR35.4 million. The strong performance of Globul, AMC and Macedonian cellco Cosmofon helped offset some of the EUR12.5 million start-up losses incurred by Cosmoté Romania, which was re-launched in December 2005. The Romanian unit posted a 4Q net loss of EUR9.8 million. Cosmoté bought 70% of Cosmorom from Romanian wireline incumbent RomTelecom for EUR120 million last year and agreed to finance its re-launch.
Group turnover was supported by better-than-forecast performance in Cosmoté’s domestic market, where sales rose by 10% to EUR378.9 million as average minutes of use increased. Traffic volumes for the full-year 2005 in Greece increased by 4.5%; Cosmoté did not give a traffic figure for the fourth quarter, but said the positive average minutes of use trend in the three preceding quarters continued. Annual net profit for 2005 rose 10% to EUR339.9 million (USD406.42 million), up from EUR309.1 million (USD369.59 million) in 2004, helped by lower corporate tax and depreciation rates. Cosmoté’s parent, Greek fixed line incumbent OTE, will release its fourth quarter and full-year results on Monday.