T-Hrvatski Telekom (T-HT), Croatia’s largest telecoms group, has announced its results for the six months ended 30 June 2014, in which it notes that the sector was strongly impacted by Croatia’s continuing economic crisis, regulatory changes and market deterioration. T-HT slowed the trend of revenue decline slightly, reporting H1 2014 turnover of HRK3.3 billion (USD578 million), a year-on-year fall of 5.2% compared to the 6% drop seen in the same period of the previous year. Revenue deteriorated primarily in the voice segment, and this was partially offset by higher non-voice revenue, substantial growth in ICT revenue and increased terminal equipment revenue. Despite increased company transformation related costs, the group maintained operating expenses at the same level, while EBITDA amounted to HRK1.2 billion for the six-month period, and EBITDA before exceptional items was HRK1.3 billion, a 10.0% year-on-year decrease primarily due to the falling revenue total and the group’s change of revenue structure. Consolidated net income totalled HRK401 million in January-June 2014, down 29.5%.
At the end of the first half of 2014, T-HT had 1.086 million fixed line telephony customers (down from 1.174 million at mid-2013), 2.308 million mobile subscribers (down from 2.350 million a year earlier) and 621,000 broadband retail access lines (down from 631,000 twelve months previously), plus 394,000 total TV service users (including 337,000 IPTV subscribers – compared to 336,000 in June 2013).
In June, T-HT took over the management of alternative Croatian fixed operator Optima Telekom (OT), as part of the latter’s pre-bankruptcy settlement process, ‘to improve OT’s market positioning and stabilise its financial performance’ in a move the incumbent says is ‘aimed at protecting the interests of OT’s customers, as well as bringing stability to the telecom market overall’.