TIM reports 2004 profit fall

Mobile operator TIM Hellas, majority-owned by Telecom Italia Mobile, reported a 14 percent drop in 2004 net profit yesterday, hit by rising competition and regulatory pressure. The country’s third-largest mobile provider by users said net profit fell to 78.8 million euros, with earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) down 11.6 percent to 243.6 million euros. «Increasing competitive and regulatory pressure in combination with company-specific strategic initiatives – which, though sound, strained this year’s results – led to an erosion in business margins and overall profitability,» Chief Executive Officer Socrates Kominakis said in a statement. Operating revenues rose 3.9 percent to 839.8 million euros. Its number of subscribers fell to 2.32 million at end-2004 from 2.4 million at end-2003 due to competition from other operators. Prepaid users made up 65.4 percent of its total customer base, with the remainder contract subscribers. The company said it would propose a dividend of 10 cents per share, unchanged from the 2003 payout, at the annual shareholders’ meeting. The results are based on US GAAP. TIM Hellas, which competes with CosmOTE, Vodafone Greece and Q-Telecom, the mobile unit of IT firm Infoquest, is listed on the Nasdaq and Amsterdam exchanges. (Reuters)

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