Wind Hellas sees sales slump 18.5%, launches 'urgent' debt restructuring

17 Jun 2010

Greek mobile, fixed line and broadband operator Wind Hellas has reported that its revenues in the first quarter of 2010 fell by 18.5% year-on-year to EUR216.9 million (USD266.9 million). Mobile turnover decreased to EUR170.0 million in 1Q10, down from EUR197.8 million in 4Q09 and EUR217.3 million in 1Q09, whilst fixed division Tellas’ first-quarter revenues were EUR35.2 million, down only slightly year-on-year from EUR35.9 million. Overall EBITDA in the three months ending 31 March 2010 dropped to EUR52.2 million, down from EUR60.5 million in the previous quarter and EUR76.1 million year-on-year. Mobile customer numbers fell to 4.595 million at end-March 2010, down from 4.986 million at the end of the previous quarter, driven by the net loss of 399,000 pre-paid users, but post-paid subscribers increased marginally, by 8,000 to 1.067 million, the second consecutive quarterly net rise in Wind’s contract base. Tellas’ local loop unbundling (LLU) consumer customer base rose by 18,000 (including 14,000 broadband-plus-voice and 4,000 voice-only) in the quarter to 227,000, whilst the indirect subscriber base (including carrier pre-selection voice) fell sharply from 555,000 at end-December 2009 to 318,000 at end-March 2010, due to the firm’s decision to write off 200,000 indirect customers.

Wind Hellas also revealed this week that it has begun talks with creditors to restructure debts, prompted by a continuing slump in sales and earnings in April and May, which it says was influenced by the Greek government’s austerity measures. The company has retained Morgan Stanley, White & Case and Karatzas & Partners as advisers on alternative options and is negotiating with creditor groups and its controlling shareholder Weather Investments. An analyst quoted by Bloomberg said that the telco has around EUR55 million in debt payments due at the end of the month. Wind Hellas has over EUR1.7 billion of debt in total.

Greece, Wind Hellas (incl. Tellas)