Greek full-service telco OTE has announced that its financial results for 2009 met its profitability targets as it faced a ‘toughening environment across all its markets’. The group’s consolidated revenues for the full year fell 6.6% to EUR5.98 billion (USD8.10 billion), whilst net profit fell 32.9% to EUR404 million. Panagis Vourloumis, OTE’s CEO, noted: ‘The challenging operating conditions we faced since the beginning of 2009 in all our activities intensified in the fourth quarter as consumers responded to the worsening economic outlook across the region. In addition, the overall Greek mobile market shrank durably during the year as a result of pricing assaults by our competition, a trend that is continuing in 2010.’
Meanwhile, Reuters reports that the fourth-quarter net loss posted by OTE was ‘unexpected’, as its bottom line was hit by a one-off tax imposed by Greece’s government to cope with the debt crisis facing the country. OTE, which is 30%-owned by German giant Deutsche Telekom, swung from a EUR100 million net profit in Q4 2008 to a net loss of EUR30.5 million in October-December 2009, compared to an average forecast of EUR7.1 million net profit in a Reuters poll of analysts. The company, which includes Greek and south-east Europe cellular network operator Cosmote, said that it will cut its dividend on 2009 earnings to EUR0.5 per share to preserve its capacity to invest, whilst adding that revenues in 2010 would continue to be affected by unfavourable economic conditions.