CosmOTE posts double-digit profit growth in 9 months

CosmOTE, the mobile phone subsidiary of telecoms operator OTE and Greek market leader, yesterday reported a 10.3 percent rise in nine-month net profit year-on-year, reflecting steady growth in the domestic market. Consolidated net profit rose to 187.19 million euros, on revenue growth of 12.1 percent to 994.11 billion euros. Consolidated earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) was up 10.1 percent to 425.55 million euros. EBITDA margin remained healthy at 42.8 percent, compared to 43.6 percent in the same period last year. The company reported under US GAAP. Evangelos Martigopoulos, managing director, said the figures showed that the company’s ability to maintain high profitability and expand abroad was undiminished. «CosmOTE’s economic and operational performance in all countries is active, confirming that the company is in a position to attain its primary strategic goals… the growth of the client base in markets outside Greece and Albania is also particularly satisfactory,» he said. CosmOTE also operates Albanian Mobile Communications (AMC) and, through management contracts, Bulgaria’s Globul and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia’s (FYROM) Cosmofon. New connections in the third quarter were up 20 percent in Greece (to 4.05 million), 38.6 percent in Albania, 113 percent in Bulgaria, year-on-year, and 129 percent in FYROM, quarter-to-quarter. There was a 13.3 percent rise in group revenues from airtime, 17.3 percent from fixed monthly charges, 12 percent from short message services (SMS), 34.4 percent from roaming services, and 6.9 percent from interconnection charges. CosmOTE reported a 13.7 percent average monthly rise in minutes of airtime per subscriber to 108 minutes, as contract users talked 25 percent longer. Contract users talked an average of 231 minutes on their mobile in the third quarter. But about 30 percent of prepaying customers made no calls in the third quarter. Average monthly revenues per user (ARPU) amounted to 29.1 euros and ARPU per contract customer 48.9 euros, up 5.8 percent year-on-year. AMC, CosmOTE’s Albanian subsidiary, accounted for 7.9 percent of group turnover and 10.5 percent of operating profit (EBITDA). AMC reported a 4.1 percent rise in turnover to 78.5 million euros in the nine months, but net profit was down 6.4 percent to 22.85 million euros, mainly on account of high operating and amortization expenses.