ECONOMY

In Brief

OTE and Motorola to replace Nokia in Olympic security project OTE Telecom and Motorola will replace Nokia in the SAIC/Siemens consortium that won the tender for the installation of the Tetra wireless security system for the Athens Olympic Games next year, sources said. OTE and Motorola were part of the French-American consortium TRS that competed unsuccessfully in the tender. Nokia’s withdrawal is linked to bad economic results and the high risk involved in Tetra. The part of the project in which Motorola is projected to replace Nokia is estimated at 20 million euros and concerns base stations. According to government officials, the change is expected to cause a small delay in the already tight timetable for the project, whose delivery in time will greatly depend on the scheduled completion of other projects. Separately, Athens 2004, the organizers, yesterday assigned the catering program for the Olympic Village, a nearly 34-million-euro contract, to Aramarkdasko SA, which has also undertaken to install the kitchens, with a capacity of preparing 6,000 meals an hour. Telestet reports rise in operating income and customers in first half Stet Hellas, operator of mobile telephony Telestet, said 2003 first-half earnings before interest, taxes, and depreciation (EBITDA) grew 25.8 percent to 128.3 million euros year-on-year, according to US GAAP (the firm is listed on the NYSE). Total revenue was up 24.9 percent to 380.6 million euros. The EBITDA margin in total revenue was 33.7 percent. Telestet’s customer base in the second quarter of 2003 was up 90,938, or 17 percent year-on-year, to 2,672,267 subscribers. Of the new subscribers, 71,719 opted for prepaid schemes and 19,219 for contracts. At the end of the second quarter, 70.4 percent of Telestet’s customer base, or 1,880,196 customers, were prepaying. According to the firm, its B Best scheme for corporate customers led to a further rise in contract subscribers, who now represent 38 percent of total contracts. Total customer churn in the second quarter was down 10.5 percent to 23.3 percent year-on-year. OTE The government yesterday dismissed a Kathimerini report that it planned a reshuffle at the helm of the country’s top communications group OTE Telecom. «I am not aware of such a development. OTE’s board chairman and managing director is appointed by the company’s shareholders therefore it is they who express satisfaction or dissatisfaction,» government spokesman Christos Protopappas said. Kathimerini said yesterday the government, OTE’s chief shareholder, wanted to replace chief executive Lefteris Antonakopoulos, being unhappy with how he had handled its loss-making Romanian mobile subsidiary Cosmorom. Antonakopoulos earlier this month said OTE intended to shut down the indebted unit. (Reuters) Feta, ouzo, olives Agriculture Minister Giorgos Drys told his EU counterparts in Brussels yesterday that the exclusion of feta cheese, ouzo and Kalamata olives from the list of products of regulated label of origin was «inconceivable,» amounted to «discriminatory treatment» and will determine Greece’s position in the negotiations with the World Trade Organization in Cancun, Mexico in September. Separately, the European Commission said it will withhold 73.43 million euros from disbursements to Greece as funds unjustifiably given to farmers.