OTE in the red: No relief in short term

OTE telecom, 30 percent-owned by Deutsche Telekom, yesterday reported a 60.8-million-euro loss for the second quarter of 2010 and forecast that the rest of the year would be difficult. Shares in OTE fell 2.15 percent to 6.36 euros after the news, which disappointed investors who had expected a second-quarter loss of around 7 million euros, versus profits of 6.4 million for the same period a year earlier. OTE CEO Panagis Vourloumis said the company’s revenues were severely hit by tough economic and competitive conditions «while our net result for the first half of the year was annihilated by the dramatic increase in taxes.» The profit figure would have been about 55 million euros without the extraordinary tax levy imposed by the Greek state, it said. Vourloumis said OTE, Greece’s largest phone company, will continue with cost-cutting efforts while pushing ahead with talks with unions groups over changes in staffing levels but added that he does not expect «any relief in the short term.»