Financial round-up: Oi, UOL and Telesp post 1Q10 results

14 May 2010

Brazilian telecoms companies Universo Online (UOL), Telecomunicacoes de Sao Paulo (Telesp) and Tele Norte Leste Participacoes (TNL, or Oi) have posted their first-quarter financial results for the three months to 31 March 2010, noting varying fortunes. Oi, which is Brazil’s largest telco by subscribers and revenues, reported record net profits in the period under review, due to cost synergies related to the takeover of fellow player Brasil Telecom (BrT), and a reduction in debt payments. The operator booked net income of BRL496 million (USD264 million), up from BRL11 million in 1Q09. Oi’s chief financial officer Alex Zornig noted that efforts to trim ‘tax inefficiencies’ and amendments to rules governing depreciation also helped Oi’s bottom line. However, the integration of BrT, acquired in January 2009, resulted in synergies of BRL300 million in the first quarter, which are expected to total BRL1.1 billion over the full year. Oi posted first-quarter net revenues of BRL7.46 billion, compared with BRL7.49 billion a year ago, attributing the drop to lower sales of fixed line services which was only partially countered by strong mobile and data services growth. The telco added a net 4.8 million cellular subscribers in the twelve months to 31 March 2010, while broadband internet customers reached 4.8 million at the end of last quarter, up 629,000 from the start of the year. EBITDA was BRL2.53 billion, up from BRL2.38 billion in the year-earlier quarter.

Meanwhile online media portal and internet service provider UOL posted a 37% year-on-year rise in advertising (and other revenues) to BRL120.9 million, driven by an increase both in revenues from advertising and from other products on its internet service platform. 1Q10 EBITDA totalled BRL40.2 million, down 6% from the same period on 2009, which also reflected a slip in the EBITDA margin of 22% – down five percentage points year-on-year. The firm said that excluding the impact of non-recurring items (in 1Q09 and 1Q10), net revenues and operating expenses grew 15% and 10%, respectively. UOL booked net income of BRL23.5 million in the period under review, down 36% y-o-y, while the number of paying broadband subscribers climbed 8% y-o-y to 1.3 million.

Telesp, which is controlled by Spain’s Telefonica and provides telecommunications company in Sao Paulo state, failed to repeat its rivals’ revenue growth though. The telco booked first-quarter net revenues of BRL3.89 billion, down from BRL3.96 billion in 1Q09, and said net income fell 16.6% y-o-y to BRL403 million, undermined by a fall in local call service revenue. Telesp said EBITDA also fell, by 13.9%, to BRL1.27 billion and its EBITDA margin slipped to 32.8% from 37.4%.

Brazil, Oi, Telefonica Brasil (Vivo), Universo Online (UOL)