Hondutel curbs losses by 56% in 1H14; ICE confirms interest in Honduran telecoms market

31 Jul 2014

State-owned telecoms operator Empresa Hondurena de Telecomunicaciones (Hondutel) has managed to curb its 1H14 losses by 55.7% year-on-year, reporting a deficit of HNL134.06 million (USD6.39 million) in the six months to 30 June 2014, compared to a loss of HNL302.6 in the first half of 2013. The company generated revenues of HNL1.097 billion in the period under review, up marginally from HNL1.078 billion reported in H1 2013, while operating expenses totalled HNL692.38 million in end-June 2014, down by 18% y-o-y from HNL845.25 million.

Earlier this month, Hondutel revealed that it generated a net profit of HNL13.6 million in the month of June 2014, after 41 consecutive months of losses; the positive results were attributed to a series of measures implemented by manager Jesus Mejia to improve operational efficiency. Rodolfo Navas Irias, the congressman who heads the Telecommunication Commission of the National Congress, said that although the profit ‘is a small figure given the magnitude of the company, this shows that the measures taken to improve the finances of the institution are generating result.’

Meanwhile, Jaime Palermo, manager of Costa Rican operator Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (Grupo ICE), has confirmed that the company ‘is evaluating and exploring the telecommunications market in Honduras to identify business options’, and is seeking partners who know the market and have a customer base in the country. TeleSemana reported that ICE has initiated discussions with Hondutel, while also noting that the initiative has the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Costa Rica and Honduran government authorities.

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