Hungarian telecoms carrier Magyar Telekom (MTel) has posted a first-quarter net profit of HUF13.02 billion (USD57.96 million), broadly in line with market expectations. Analysts polled by online business journal portfolio.hu had forecast the group to book a quarterly profit of HUH13.15 billion. The telco’s 1Q12 results were fuelled by a 2.9% year-on-year rise in revenues to HUF147 billion – driven by strong growth at its energy resale business – which helped to more than offset declining sales from core fixed and mobile activities. The Deutsche Telekom-controlled operator had booked a net loss of HUF40.3 billion in the fourth quarter of 2011 and booked a profit of HUF15.17 billion in 1Q11. Quarterly earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) fell by 3.1% from 1Q11; for FY2012 the Hungarian firm is sticking with its earlier forecast of a 4%-6% decline in operating EBITDA, and CAPEX of HUF84 billion – a similar sum to that spent in FY2011.
MTel remained tight-lipped about the government’s proposed new traffic-based telecoms sector tax, which if implemented could generate between HUF50 billion and HUF60 billion for the state’s coffers. The new tax, which could be passed from 1 July, would augment Budapest’s controversial special tax on the telecoms sector. Budapest’s special telecoms tax is already subject to a European Commission investigation, with the matter having been referred to the European Court of Justice earlier this year.