Argentine incumbent telco Telecom Argentina has posted its results for the nine months ended 30 September 2009, reporting consolidated net revenue of ARS8.86 billion (USD2.32 billion), up 14% compared with the same period a year earlier. The company’s net income for the period totalled ARS1.006 billion, an increase of 21% year-on-year. In the nine-month period, revenue generated by fixed services, including voice, data transmission and internet, amounted to ARS3.043 billion, an increase of 13% against the same period a year earlier. Of that total, data transmission revenue contributed ARS197 million (up 24% year-on-year), while broadband revenue reached ARS768 million (up 47% year-on-year), driven by increased subscriber numbers and network expansion. At 30 September 2009 Telecom Argentina’s ADSL subscriber base was 1.2 million, representing approximately 27% of the company’s fixed lines in service.
Meanwhile, the company’s total mobile customers stood at 15.8 million at the same date, an increase of two million compared to the end of Q3 2008. Telecom’s Argentine wireless division, Personal, reached 14 million subscribers, up 17% year-on-year, with net additions for the nine-month period totaling 1.4 million. Approximately 69% of the total were pre-paid users. Personal’s revenue rose 15% year-on-year to ARS5.52 billion. Meanwhile in Paraguay, Nucleo’s wireless customers reached approximately 1.8 million, of which 89% were pre-paid users. Revenues for the division fell 7% year-on-year to ARS302 million, affected by the reduction of interconnection revenue and the change to per-second billing. CAPEX for the period totalled ARS1.022 billion, of which ARS520 billion was invested in the data and internet businesses and ARS502 million in mobile services.
In a separate but related story, Telecom Italia (TI) has received at least five offers for its 50% stake in Telecom Argentina, Bloomberg reports, citing Sao Paulo-based newspaper Valor Economico. The report states that TI plans to sell the stake only if it gets a ‘fair’ price for it, and the company has not ruled out going to court to avoid having to sell the asset. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, Argentina’s antitrust agency, the National Commission for the Defense of Competition (CNDC), determined in late August that TI’s indirect stake in Telecom Argentina violates antitrust legislation and gave the Italian company one year to divest its stake in the company.