ECONOMY

OTE pricing reviewed

OTE Telecom announced yesterday it planned a review of pricing strategy that aimed at developing packages for clients, particularly for business customers. «One of our main tasks in the next quarters is to conduct an in-depth review of our pricing strategy and to introduce packages that best suit different customer segment needs, with special focus on our business customers,» CEO Lefteris Antonakopoulos said in a statement. Antonakopoulos had told reporters on Wednesday that OTE expected to proceed with changes to tariffs for its services by the end of the year or early 2003 at the latest. Analysts said the company has been mulling how to make its products and services – which run from the traditional business of voice calls to Internet services – more competitive. OTE said last week its net profit fell 15.6 percent year-on-year as it shouldered costs for restructuring to adapt to a deregulated fixed-line market. Sales at the former state monopoly grew 6.6 percent year-on-year, boosted by solid mobile phone growth at home and abroad, which helped offset lower revenues from fixed-line telephony. Competition for fixed-line phone services and lower local and domestic long-distance call rates, which came into effect at the end of January, chipped away at traditional revenue streams in the first half. Revenue from domestic telephony, which still contributes more than half of total revenue, slipped 1.7 percent in the first half and 3.1 percent year-on-year in the second quarter. OTE said it estimated competitors in the fixed-line market had a 1.5 percent market share in June this year. OTE’s shares on the Athens bourse closed down 3.0 percent to 13.58 euros yesterday. Its ADRs in New York were off 0.72 percent. (Reuters)