Greece’s dominant fixed line telco OTE’s net profit in the fourth quarter of 2008 dropped 56.4% year-on-year, due to 2007’s net gain of EUR183.5 million (USD249.1 million) on the disposal of its directories business, InfOTE. Net income in October-December 2008 fell to EUR100.1 million, missing a forecast of EUR107 million from analysts polled by Reuters. OTE, which is part-owned by Deutsche Telekom and includes the Cosmote international mobile group, was fined EUR7.5 million yesterday by Greece’s National Telecommunications & Post Commission (EETT) for obstructing fixed line and broadband competition by failing to meet commitments towards alternative service provider Hellas Online.
OTE’s full-year report reveals that group turnover increased by 1.4% in 2008 compared to the previous year, to EUR6.407 billion, driven by an 11.8% increase in mobile telephony turnover, a 197.7% increase in revenues from co-location and local loop unbundling (LLU), and a 114.5% rise in Metro Ethernet & IP Core services. These gains offset a 14.5% decrease in revenues from local and domestic long-distance telephony and a 5.8% decrease from international telephony.
According to the report, Cosmote improved its mobile market share in every country that it operates, adding approximately 4.4 million new subscribers during 2008. Its consolidated customer base reached nearly 20 million as of 31 December 2008, up by 28.8% year-on-year. Cosmote Greece increased its annual revenues by 6.2%, generating an EBITDA margin of 42.4%. The group also operates GSM networks across the Balkan region via subsidiaries in Bulgaria (Cosmo Bulgaria, or GloBul), Romania (Cosmote Romania), Macedonia (FYROM) (Cosmofon) and Albania (Albanian Mobile Communications – AMC).