Cosmote 2006 profit up 6.1 pct to 360.5 mln euros

Greece’s largest mobile-phone operator Cosmote said yesterday 2006 net profit rose 6.1 percent, in line with market forecasts, as higher phone usage more than offset costs to expand abroad. «The year 2006 has been a crucial one for Cosmote, with our aggressive expansion moves already paying off,» Chief Executive Evangelos Martigopoulos said in a statement. Net profit rose to -360.5 million ($473.6 million) from -340 million in 2005, as the company’s subscriber base rose 35.4 percent to 11.2 million customers, the company said in a statement. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) in the full year rose 16.1 percent to -876.2 million. Sales increased 32.5 percent to -2.38 billion. Cosmote shares trade at about 20.4 times estimated 2007 earnings. (Reuters)