October 29 (SeeNews) - Norwegian telecommunications group Telenor said on Thursday its Montenegrin unit, ProMonte, posted an operating profit of 187 million Norwegian crowns ($33 million/22 million euro) in the first nine months of 2009, up from 114 million crowns a year earlier.
ProMonte's earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose to 257 million crowns through September, from 254 million crowns a year earlier, Telenor said in a statement posted on its website.
ProMonte's revenue in first nine months of 2009 fell slightly to 577 million crowns from 587 million crowns in the same period a year earlier.
"Revenues in the local currency [euro] decreased by 13% mainly due to reduced roaming revenues and a lower number of subscriptions," Telenor said.
The number of subscriptions increased by 67,000 during the third quarter, mainly driven by increased sales during the tourist season, it added. Telenor’s subscribers in Montenegro totalled 503,000 at the end of September, down from 533,000 a year earlier.
“At the end of the quarter the subscription market share was 37%,” the company said.
Telenor's main rival in the country of some 620,000 people is T-Mobile, owned by the Hungarian unit of Deutsche Telekom, Magyar Telekom. In July 2007, a third mobile operator, m:tel, owned by a consortium of Serbian state-owned company Telekom Srbija and Netherlands-based Ogalar, started operations in the tiny Adriatic state.
Telenor has operations in 13 countries and considers eastern Europe one of its core markets.
(1 euro=8.4048 Norwegian crowns)