Банкеръ Weekly



The operating profit of Bulgaria's largest mobile phone operator Mobiltel decreased by 10.2% year-on-year to EUR56.4MN over the third quarter of 2008, the company's chief executive officer Josef Viantzer said on November 12, 2008. However, the decrease is significantly smaller for the first nine months of 2008, namely by less than 1.2% to EUR161MN. At the same time, Mobiltel's revenues have jumped by 5% since the beginning of 2008 to EUR499MN. The growth is mostly attributed to higher monthly incomes from subscriber fees and data traffic which compensate for the lessened incomes from roaming services after the European Union has forced operators to cut the prices down.
Besides its profit, Mobiltel's market share has also shrunk up. It flagged to 49.9% at the end of the third quarter, compared to 50.3% at end-2007 although the number of subscribers have increased by some 8% to 5.2 million since. The reason for this paradox lies in a 137%-expansion of the Bulgarian mobile phone services sector.
On the other hand, the average time that one subscriber has spent in talking has soared by 22% which partly compensates for the lower tariffs. Nevertheless, the average incomes from a single subscriber dropped by EUR10.1 over the third quarter, compared to EUR10.4 a year ago.
The financial state of Mobiltel's owner, Telekom Austria Group, is almost identical. The telecommunication giant also faces a net profit decrease by 6.2% to EUR163MN for the last three months. However, this is firstly attributed to the taking over of Belarusian Velcom. On the other hand, the Austrian telecom's revenues jumped by 4% to EUR1.33BN.

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