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BUCHAREST (Romania), May 9 (SeeNews) - Telekom Romania's adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) fell 20.8% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2019 to 26.2 million euro ($29.3 million), its parent company, Greece's OTE, said on Thursday.
"In Romania, adjusting for the provisions we took at the end of last year, we are seeing signs of recovery. Group EBITDA was down slightly, as the steady performance in Greece was not enough to offset a decline in Romania, resulting mostly from a high comparison base throughout the first half of last year," OTE CEO and Chairman, Michael Tsamaz, said in a statement.
The company said it is undertaking a series of cost containment initiatives in Romania that are expected to drive efficiencies starting in the second half of this year.
Telekom Romania's total revenues decreased 4.4% year-on-year during January-March to 216.6 million euro.
Revenues from retail fixed services in Romania fell by 12.2% to 57.8 million euro in the period under review, mainly as a result of lower revenues from fixed voice services, reflecting an unfavourable trend in both voice ARPU and customer base.
Mobile service revenues decreased by an annual 6.6% to 76.2 million euro in the first quarter, due to the impact of the transition in IT platforms accounted for in the last quarter of 2018, which led to a number of disconnections in the latter part of the year.
"As a result, comps in the first half of 2018 were adversely high. With a normalized comparison base, the company expects stabilization of its mobile service revenue in the second half of the year," OTE said.
Wholesale services revenues jumped by an annual 38.3% to 27.1 million euro in the first quarter, primarily reflecting the increase in international transit traffic business.
Telekom Romania's mobile customer base totalled 4.64 million at the end of the first quarter, down 0.8% from the year-earlier number.
OTE is present in Romania since 2014 through Telekom. OTE's units in Romania - fixed-line operator RomTelecom and mobile operator Cosmote - were rebranded as Telekom Communications Romania and Telekom Mobile Romania, respectively, in September 2014.
Telekom Communications Romania is owned by OTE with 54% and by the Romanian communications ministry with 45.99%, while Telekom Mobile Romania is owned by OTE Group member Cosmote Mobile Communications with 69.9%, Telekom Romania Communications with 30% and minority shareholders.
($ = 0.8927 euro)