Brazilian cableco Net Servicos has confirmed plans to invest BRL1 billion (USD441 million) in 2009, despite a slowdown in the local economy and the wider global economic gloom. Dow Jones Newswires cites the group’s CEO Jose Felix as saying that the Brazilian broadband internet provider will maintain investment at 2008 levels after seeing no significant fall-off in demand in the first two months of the year. ‘We are cautious,’ Felix said. ‘But from what we have seen, there is no dramatic slowdown and we see no reason to lower our aggressive expansion and margins goals. We need to keep investing to hit those targets.’
Net Servicos, which is controlled by Brazilian media giant Globo and Telefonos de Mexico, saw its basic pay-TV customers base expand by 597,000 to 3.06 million in 2008 and its high speed internet base expand by 794,000 to 2.22 million. The cableco reported a fourth-quarter net loss of BRL91 million, compared with a net profit of BRL96 million in the same periods of 2007 mainly the result of losses derived from the depreciation of the local currency – the real. Quarterly revenues climbed 28% year-on-year from BRL799 million to BRL1.02 billion, while EBITDA reached BRL278 million, up from BRL216 million previously. The EBITDA margin was unchanged at 27%.