The Portuguese alternative telco Sonaecom has reported a 61.3% drop in fourth-quarter net profit, though this beat industry forecasts. Analysts polled by Reuters had expected Sonaecom to slip to a loss, but the company managed to post earnings of EUR13.1 million (USD16.6 million). The fall in profit was attributed to higher operating costs. Sales for the period rose 0.4% to EUR249.3 million, while earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) were up 5% at EUR43.5 million. For the 2008 full year, turnover rose 9.4% to EUR976.2 million, EBITDA dropped slightly to EUR160.4 million and net profit fell back 86.4% to EUR5.0 million. At the end of December Sonaecom claimed 3.19 million mobile customers at its Optimus subsidiary, up 10.3% year-on-year, while the number of wireline accesses declined from 775,000 to 593,000 over the same period.