ECONOMY

Lannet aims for 5 pct market share end-2005

Alternative telecoms operator Lannet Communications is poised to post a profit this year against a projected turnover of 45 million euros, based on upbeat figures for the first quarter, its business manager, Leonidas Nikidis, predicted yesterday. The company did not release quarterly financial figures but said voice traffic in terms of minutes in February gave it a 29 percent share of the alternative telecoms carrier market, placing it above rivals Forthnet, Teledome, Tellas, Q-Telecom and Vivodi. «We expect full-year revenues to increase by 145 percent to 45.05 million euros,» Nikidis said. Lannet is projecting positive EBITDA and profits for this year. It had expected to break even in 2004. Lannet had 301,238 connections at the end of March, underscoring the inroads made by alternative carriers into dominant operator OTE’s market share. OTE last week said competitors had grabbed a 7 percent market share at end-March. Lannet’s subscribers at the end of the first quarter came to 91,679, of which 92.2 percent were residential customers and the remaining 7.8 percent corporate clients. Voice traffic up to March totaled 102 million minutes. The operator claimed a 2.77 percent share of the traffic market, a 5 percent share of connections and a 29 percent share of the alternative carrier market. It is targeting a 5 percent share of the telecommunications market by the end of 2005. Average revenues per user amounted to 45 euros, with average voice traffic per customer coming out at 750 minutes. Nikidis said average cost savings up to 23.5 percent and packages targeted at the different market segments were key to the company’s success. Lannet yesterday presented a new product, the bill-0, a prepaid telephone card with recorded advertising messages which allows the user to make calls to any part of the world free of charge. «Marketing via the bill-0 is on average seven times cheaper than a similar insert elsewhere and 15 times cheaper than a radio advertisement,» said Nikidis. He also announced a tie-up with Cypriot company Planitis.net to offer virtual private network (VPN) services. The company plans to venture into the Balkans gradually.