OTE first quarter profit beats estimate, helped by tax gain

Greece’s biggest telecoms company OTE reported on Wednesday a higher-than-expected profit for the first quarter, helped by a tax gain.

But sales dropped by an annual 11 percent, a slightly faster pace than expected, weighed down by lower mobile phone call prices.

Net profit stood at 167.5 million euros from 308.1 million euros in the same period last year, said the company which is controlled by Germany’s Deutsche Telekom .

This compares to an average 106.7 million euro analyst forecast in a Reuters poll. The earnings include 50 million euros from a remeasurement of the group’s deferred taxes.

Stripping out one-off items, comparable net rose 5 percent, the company said.

Sales dropped to 1.045 billion euros, compared with an average 1.050 billion euro analyst forecast in a Reuters poll.

The company said it did not expect a material improvement in its operating conditions in the coming quarters, as sharp competition and recession in its two biggest markets, Greece and Romania, continues.