Trying times for Telekom Austria

May 8, 2014 10.21 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul

Bulgaria is proving to one of Telekom Austria’s more difficult markets in the CEE region.

Latest results released by the company show that its subsidiary M-Tel ended the first quarter with 77,300 TV subscribers.

Although this was up on the 70,700 posted a year earlier, it was lower than the 2013 end-year total of 77,800.

Meanwhile, the fixed access line total continued to decline, down from 163,400 in Q1 2013 to 154,400 in Q1 this year.

Figures in Croatia, where Telekom Austria operates Vipnet, were better.

Its fixed line business had 159,800 at the end of Q1, up from 144,200 a year earlier, while the fixed access line total stood at 202,100. (172,100).

In its home market, the telco’s A1 TV had 240,000 subscribers at the end of Q1 (225,200 a year earlier).

The group as a whole had revenues of €975.9 million in Q1, or 7% less than in the corresponding period last year. Comparable EBITDA was down 5% to €319.9 million and net income fell by 26.5% to €40.8 million.

Commenting on the outlook for CEE, Telekom Austria says: “in the CEE region on-going macro-economic headwinds will remain a key driver impacting businesses and customer demand. Despite Management’s GDP growth expectations of approximately 2.0% in Bulgaria for the year 2014, the population reduction will further burden business development. In Croatia Management expects a minor GDP decrease, after a decline of 1.0% in 2013. In both countries regulatory interventions will continue to affect results negatively and they will be most prominently felt in Croatia, as the country became subject to EU regulation with its accession to the European Union in July 2013.