Greek – owned mobile telephony operator Cosmote ended 2012 with decreases across revenues but with higher profits in Romania, the country which became the top performer among parent company’s OTE’s markets. The lower revenues were in line with its entire international mobile telephony business. In fact, the revenues drop in Romania was among the lowest, of 1.2 percent year-on-year, to EUR 464.8 million end – 2012. The highest was in Bulgaria – 8.5 percent, but even its home country Greece brought a lower result – a drop of 7.5 percent, to some EUR 1.5 billion in revenues.
On the profit side, Romania too was the overachiever in the group of four countries where OTE runs mobile telephony businesses. The pro forma EBITDA – the profit before taxes – was 19.4 percent higher year-on-year, to some EUR 119 million, while marginal growth was also achieved in the fourth quarter of 2012, also year-on-year: 0.3 percent, to EUR 30.2 million. In the other countries, OTE posted profit decreases across the board, with the highest in Albania, down 22.1 percent, to EUR 29 million. At a group level, the mobile telephony business was less profitable in 2012, with an average drop of 2.7 percent, to EUR 891 million. Cosmote runs on an EBITDA profit margin of 25.8 percent, 4.4 percentage points higher than in 2011.
The year was not all rosy for Cosmote. Service revenues declined by 8.9 percent compared to Q4’11 as a result of the two consecutive termination rate cuts implemented in March and September 2012 by the Romanian authorities.
At the end of 2012, Cosmote Romania’s total customer base stood at 6.3 million, of which almost a quarter was postpaid. The total number of subscribers went down by 3.3 percent throughout 2012, according to OTE. On the bright side, the number of business customers grew by 32 percent compared to Q4’11, “reflecting the company’s targeted offers for professional users and synergies with RomTelecom in the B2B segment,” according to OTE. In addition, the company’s 3G customer base increased by 7 percent compared to Q4’11. The full financial report can be found here.