Brazilian operator Oi has swiftly published preliminary details of its 2012 earnings after announcing an unexpected change in leadership.
The company surprised observers earlier this week by revealing that Francisco Valim, the chief executive since September 2011, has been replaced by chairman Jose Carneiro da Cunha.
According to Dow Jones Newswires, citing a person familiar with the matter, da Cunha’s appointment is only temporary while the company finds a permanent replacement.
Shares in Oi (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) dropped sharply after the announcement and the follow-up revelation of earnings details may have been aimed at dispelling any fears about the company’s situation.
Nevertheless, the figure of $27.5 billion for net services revenues missed a goal of $28.9 billion.
At $8.7 billion, earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation were just below the target of $8.8 billion, while net debt came in slightly higher than the forecast of $24.9 billion at $25 billion.
Final results are due to be published on February 18.
Quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Jose Felipe Otero of Signals Consulting said that Valim’s aggressive measures to reinvigorate the company’s mobile business were starting to pay off – Oi outperformed its rivals in the postpaid market last year, gaining 2.3 million new subscribers.
But the turnaround appears not to have been quick enough for the biggest shareholders.
One problem outside Valim’s control has been a slowdown in the Brazilian economy, with GDP growing just 1% between 2011 and 2012, compared with growth of 2.5% between 2010 and 2011.