Former state monopoly Telekom Austria says a USD390 million impairment charge in Belarus – where it owns the country’s second largest cellular operator Mobile Digital Communications (MDC, or Velcom) – will have a ‘significant impact on its full year net income for 2011. Bloomberg writes that the impairment charge was triggered after the Austrian group switched its accounting to take hyperinflation into account in Belarus, although Telekom Austria has reassured the market that the decision will not negatively impact on revenue or EBITDA forecasts. Telekom Austria, which operates in seven eastern European countries, trimmed its full-year targets in August 2011 after a drop in the value of the Belarusian ruble.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Velcom was twelve years old on 16 April 2011. In the last decade or so the cellco, 100% owned by Telekom Austria, has come a long way, reporting more than 4.53 million subscribers by the end of September 2011, thanks to the addition of 179,100 net new users since the start of the year, giving it a market share of 40.5% and putting it in second place behind MTS Belarus.