Hungarian operator Magyar Telekom (MTel) has reported a 10.8% year-on-year rise in net profit to HUF14.77 billion (USD67 million), beating market forecasts of income of HUF11.73 billion by local financial news portal, portfolio.hu. The group’s results were aided by one-time gains from real estate transactions and lower operating costs, which helped to offset a fall in revenue. Turnover for the three months under review fell 1.3% to HUF150 billion, broadly in line with expectations. However, the Deutsche Telekom-backed unit added that revenue for January-September 2012 rose 0.9% on an annualised basis to HUF442 billion, while underlying earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA), taking into account special cost provisions, declined by 2.9% to HUF182 billion. Nevertheless, MTel has reaffirmed its guidance of a 0%-2% drop in revenue for FY2012 and a 4%-6% dip in EBITDA.
Commenting on the group’s performance, MTel chairman and CEO Christopher Mattheisen said: ‘In Macedonia, we completed an efficiency review of our real estate assets, selling four of our existing buildings and purchasing a single modern one, and the sale of our Pro-M subsidiary also contributed to better EBITDA performance.’ That transaction resulted in a one-time gain of HUF3.7 billion which, when coupled with the benefits of the group’s cost-cutting initiatives, helped to minimise the impact of a new government-imposed tax on voice calls and SMS, launched in July.