Telecom Argentina profit up 15% on mobile, broadband growth

Telecom Argentina has reported a 15% increase in first-quarter net income, to P$802 million ($155 million), compared with the same period last year, thanks to rising take-up and usage of mobile-phone and broadband services.

The figure easily beat a market expectation of P$777 million, based on a poll of analysts conducted by Reuters.

Telecom Argentina has reported a 15% increase in first-quarter net income, to P$802 million ($155 million), compared with the same period last year, thanks to rising take-up and usage of mobile-phone and broadband services.

The figure easily beat a market expectation of P$777 million, based on a poll of analysts conducted by Reuters.

The operator, which is controlled indirectly by Europe’s Telecom Italia (Rome, Italy), said first-quarter revenues grew by 18%, to P$6.06 billion, fuelled largely by growth in its domestic base of mobile customers and increased spending on mobile value-added services.

Telecom Personal, the Argentinean mobile brand, claimed to serve 19.1 million customers at the end of the first quarter and said average revenue per user rose to P$62.1 per month from P$54.9 a year earlier.

The operator reported success at its fixed-line business, too, with its number of broadband customers growing by 4%, to 1.63 million, between the first quarters of 2012 and 2013.

Telecom Argentina (Buenos Aires, Argentina) says it has been working to improve its position as an “integrated ICT provider” offering a wide range of services, and introduced modifications to its hosted PBX services – as well as a hosted firewall product – in the three-month period.

Nucleo, the operator’s mobile subsidiary in Paraguay, also reported customer growth, reaching 2.3 million subscribers from 2.2 million a year earlier.

Telecom Argentina drew attention to rising numbers of postpaid customers in Paraguay– who now form 19% of the total – and Nucleo’s launch of 1900MHz-based 4G services in the quarter.

The company’s operating costs increased to 82% of revenues, from 80% in the first quarter of 2012, due to higher commercial costs, taxes and “greater expenses related to the intense competition”.

Telecom Argentina also invested P$740 million in capital expenditure, up from P$690 million a year earlier, with funds mainly going towards improving its broadband and mobile-phone networks.