ECONOMY

OTE Q1 profit seen rising 6.3 percent

Greece’s largest telecoms company OTE, in which Deutsche Telekom has a 25 percent stake, is seen posting a 6.3 percent rise in first-quarter profit on increased ADSL connections and mobile take-up, analysts said yesterday. Nine analysts polled by Reuters forecast, on average, net profit of 149.9 million euros, up from 141 million euros in the year ago period, as higher revenues from Internet services and its Cosmote mobile unit offset a loss in fixed-line revenues to smaller operators. «We anticipate Cosmote Q1 sales up 10 percent… driven by the strong operating performance of its Balkan subsidiaries,» HSBC said in a note to investors. Sales are forecast to rise slightly by 2 percent to 1.54 billion euros, helped by Cosmote’s strong performance in the neighboring Balkan nations. Separately, OTE’s board yesterday postponed discussion of the three-year business plan (2008-2010) and approval of the 2008 budget for tomorrow. Presentation of the business plan was originally due in March but CEO Panagis Vourloumis postponed it in view of the negotiations with Deutsche Telekom. OTE will also revise this year’s budget to account for the cost of an early retirement program of 666 more employees. (Reuters, Kathimerini) DT hit by eavesdropping scandal BERLIN (AFP) – The head of German telecommunications operator Deutsche Telekom warned yesterday of «severe consequences» for anyone involved in an internal spy scandal which erupted over the weekend. «Cases… must be clarified and result in severe consequences,» Rene Obermann said in the popular German daily Bild. Obermann, who was not head of DT when the alleged spying took place in 2005-2006, also stressed that the «personal data of our millions of fixed-line and mobile clients were secure.» DT acknowledged on Saturday that it had hired an outside firm to track hundreds of thousands of phone calls by senior executives and journalists to identify sources of leaks to the press. The company hired is said to have pored over communications records but conversations were apparently not wiretapped.