OTE telecom posts 2.3 pct drop in core profit

OTE telecom posts 2.3 pct drop in core profit

Greece’s biggest telecoms operator OTE posted a 2.3 percent drop in third-quarter core profit on Thursday, hit by what it described as challenging conditions in its international operations.

The former national monopoly now 40 percent owned and managed by Germany’s Deutsche Telekom reported earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of 348.7 million euros ($404.7 million) for the quarter, down from 357 million euros a year earlier.

Chairman and CEO Michael Tsamaz said OTE had launched “new initiatives to tighten costs and strengthen our profitability.”

Net profit rose 2.4 percent to 76.5 million euros, the company said, citing positive performance in Greece, where operations had been dented by a sluggish economy after a seven-year debt crisis and three international bailouts.

Hefty spending in new high-speed VDSL broadband services and a fast-growing pay-TV business have helped the group to win back fixed-line customers but conditions remain tough, it said.

A strong tourism season and lower roaming charges have helped Greek mobile operations.

Looking forward to the fourth quarter, OTE said it did not expect any “material changes” in the operational drivers and trends that have prevailed since the beginning of the year. [Reuters]

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