BUSINESS

Greek OTE sales rise in Q4 for first time in five years

Greece's biggest telecoms company OTE reported on Thursday a rise in revenues for the first time in five years, adding to signs that the country's recession-struck economy may be bottoming out.

Revenue at the firm, which is 40-percent-owned by Germany's Deutsche Telekom, rose at an annual pace of 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter to 1.046 billion euros ($1.44 billion), it said in a bourse filing.

The figure rose "on resilient Greek fixed-line and resurgent RomTelecom," said the company, which runs the former telecom monopolies of Greece and Romania.

However, OTE said it expected sales to continue dropping in 2014, though at a slower pace than their 6.4 percent decline in 2013. This would be its smallest sales decrease in five years, a period where household income plunged, competition from rivals sharpened and regulated telephony prices plummeted.

Full-year net profit for 2013 dropped by 35 percent to 287.8 million euros, weighed by an early retirement plan for 1,800 employees which will help the company cut costs in the future.

OTE said on Wednesday it would not pay a dividend for the third consecutive year. [Reuters]

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