ECONOMY

Gloomy picture in telecoms market

The domestic telecommunications market has been tottering over the last few months with the big players seeing revenues and profits shrink and the smaller ones suffering even higher losses. The industry has ceased to be attractive, a fact also mirrored by the listed firms’ stock valuations on the Athens Exchange and the companies’ financial results. The first figures for last year point to losses of some 300 million euros for the alternative service providers. The big four alternative providers – Forthnet, Hellas Online, Tellas and On Telecoms – posted total losses of 170 million euros, which would have grown much higher had Lannet, Altec Telecoms and Teledome issued their financial results. Altec alone suffered operating losses of 60 million euros in 2008, while Lannet posted losses of 33 million euros in the first nine months of last year. The firms, along with Teledome, have not announced their 2008 results, as they have filed for bankruptcy and will liquidate their assets. The bigger players in the telecoms market also face considerable problems, with leading cellphone operator Cosmote being the exception, as it enjoyed a rise in revenues and earnings. OTE’s revenues declined marginally by 2.5 percent last year, while after-tax profits fell by 37 percent. Vodafone saw revenues drop 6 percent last year, while Wind saw losses rise from 81 million euros in 2007 to 97 million euros in 2008.