Cosmote reports growth in five countries

9 Nov 2007

Mobile group Cosmote, owned by Greek incumbent telco OTE, has reported its financial and operating results for the three months ended 30 September 2007, showing subscriber growth in all its five countries of operation, Greece, Albania, Bulgaria, FYROM (Macedonia) and Romania, via subsidiaries Cosmote Greece, AMC, GloBul, Cosmofon and Cosmote Romania respectively. Consolidated group revenues for the third quarter were EUR2.25 billion (USD3.30 billion), up 38.1% year-on-year, with EBITDA of EUR745.4 million, up 15.9%, and a 1% increase in net income to EUR275.9 million. 1.01 million GSM subscribers were added across all markets in Q3 2007, near double the number added in Q3 2006, leading to total net additions in the first nine months of 2007 of almost three million. Cosmote’s group customer base reached 14.09 million at end-September 2007, a 42% increase from a year ago. The strong growth means that the company looks likely to reach a target of 15 million subscribers, originally set for 2009, in the next six months. Cosmote Greece signed up 256,000 net new subscribers in the third quarter to reach 5.94 million users at end-September; AMC had 45,000 new additions for a total of 1.14 million; GloBul ended the period with 3.66 million customers after adding 84,000 in three months; the subscriber base at Cosmofon swelled by 25,000 to 541,000; whilst at Cosmote Romania, 602,000 new users joined the company’s ranks to give it 2.82 million customers at the end of the period under review.

Cosmote’s total CAPEX for the first nine months of 2007 reached approximately EUR340 million. Cosmote Romania continued to absorb the largest share, approximately EUR132 million, through heavy investment to expand its network capacity. Greece accounted for around EUR97 million and Bulgaria a further EUR66 million. Increased customer intake, resulting in substantial traffic growth in all markets has lead to higher CAPEX requirements. As a result, Cosmote expects to revise its capital expenditure plans upwards for 2007 to a total of around EUR540 million, related mainly to capacity expansion in Romania, Greece and, to a lesser extent, Bulgaria. At the end of September, group net debt stood at EUR2.4 billion.