Croatia’s largest telecoms group T-Hrvatski Telekom (T-HT) has announced its results for the nine months to 30 September 2013, showing net profit fell by 31% to HRK964 million (USD174 million) on revenues which declined by 8% to HRK5.21 billion, which it attributed to ‘intensified competitive pressure from bundled telecommunications offers and downward pressure on pricing, falling consumption and the continued economic slowdown.’ In the residential segment, mobile subscribers were down by 2.1% year-on-year, although up 2.2% quarter-on-quarter, to 1.926 million at 30 September 2013, while consumer broadband retail lines were down by 0.4% y-o-y and flat q-o-q at 521,000, with TV customers up 9.9% y-o-y (2.4% q-o-q) to 362,000. In the business user segment, mobile subscribers were down 2.0% y-o-y (flat on Q2 2013) to 466,000, while business sector broadband lines numbered 109,000 at the end of the third quarter, up 4.3% y-o-y (flat q-o-q); there were 21,500 business TV subscribers, up 7.9% (2.4% on 2Q13).
Ivica Mudrinic, T-HT’s CEO, said: ‘During the third quarter of 2013 there was again no improvement in Croatia’s national economy and in the absence of any signs of recovery, a third credit ratings agency downgraded Croatia to sub-investment grade. On 1 July 2013, Croatia became a member of the EU and in light of the country’s fiscal challenges Croatia will enter the EU’s Excessive Deficit Procedure (EDP). EU accession and the related adoption of the EU regulatory framework has impacted the group’s performance, with a greater fall in visitor revenue than had been expected. Consequently, revenue for the third quarter of 2013 fell 12% and EBITDA before exceptional items was 21.6% lower.’ In a chink of light in the report, T-HT forecast that its annual rate of revenue decline would be smaller in 2013 than the 7.6% decrease reported in 2012.