OTE announces first quarter results, flat profits

29 May 2008

Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation (OTE), the Greek full-service telecoms provider, today announced unaudited consolidated results under IFRS for the quarter ended 31 March 2008. Consolidated revenues for the first quarter increased by 1.9% year-on-year to EUR1.538 billion (USD2.410 billion), as a result of a strong performance in mobile operations, increased international telephony revenues and ongoing ADSL growth. Excluding Q1 2007 revenues from Infote, the Greek directories business sold in Q4 2007, revenues grew by 2.9% year-on-year in Q1 2008. Group operating income (EBIT) was down 8.0% in the three-month period to EUR240 million. The decline was entirely due to higher retirement costs at Romanian fixed line subsidiary RomTelecom; excluding this, all major group units achieved strong improvements in EBIT. In the quarter, OTE Group posted net income of EUR141 million, virtually unchanged from a year ago. Capital expenditure (CAPEX) in the first three months of the year totalled EUR139 million, down 37.7% compared to Q1 2007. CAPEX for Greek fixed line, RomTelecom and Cosmote group mobile operations reached EUR39 million, EUR22 million and EUR75 million respectively.

In OTE’s domestic fixed line market, its total number of PSTN lines dropped by 96,000 to 4.4 million in the three months to the end of March, while the number of ISDN lines fell by nearly 20,000 to a total of over 1.3 million. OTE’s ADSL customers exceeded 861,000 at the same date, up from nearly 825,000 at the end of December 2007.

During Q1 2008 OTE’s domestic mobile unit Cosmote Greece added 24,609 net new contract subscribers, and 235,259 net new pre-paid subscribers, bringing the total number of customers to 6.53 million, a year-on-year increase of 20%. In Albania, AMC captured 28,112 net new additions to take its total mobile customer base to approximately 1.22 million, a 19.4% increase compared to March 2007. In Bulgaria, as a result of over 110,000 net post-paid additions and despite over 100,000 net pre-paid deactivations, GloBul’s registered mobile customer base increased by just over 5,000 to around 3.9 million, representing a 14% y-o-y increase. In Macedonia (FYROM), Cosmofon added a net total of 25,400 new mobile customers during Q1, of which three-quarters were post-paid, reaching a total of 618,400, a 24.3% increase compared to a year ago. Cosmote Romania added a total of 621,869 mobile subscribers (including over 111,000 on contracts) during Q1 2008, bringing its customer base to 4.2 million, a 128% increase on an annual basis, and up 17% compared to the previous quarter.