In brief - 2004-11-01

  • 2004-11-01
The Latvian mobile-telephone operator Latvijas Mobilais Telefons achieved a turnover of 168.4 million euros in the first nine months of this year, up 10.2 percent from last year, according to a report submitted to the Helsinki Stock Exchange by the Scandinavian telecommunications concern TeliaSonera, one of LMT's co-owners. LMT's turnover in the third quarter of 2004 was 57.1 million euros, a 13 percent growth year-on-year, due to an increasing number of clients and wider use of the company's services. TeliaSonera holds 49 percent in LMT, 23 percent belongs to the Digital Latvian Radio and Television Center, a company indirectly controlled by the state, and Lattelekom holds 23 percent. The state also holds 5 percent directly.

Lietuvos Telekomas, the country's dominant fixed-line telephone operator, announced on Oct. 26 a net profit of 25 million litas (7.25 million euros) for the first nine months of 2004. The operator said that revenues reached 544 million litas, a decline of 10.2 percent from 605 million litas in the same period a year ago. Lietuvos Telekomas' operating expenses for 2004 fell by 7 percent year-on-year to 286 million litas. The company said it had 821,000 main lines in service at the end of September, down by 1.8 percent from 836,000 lines a year ago. Meanwhile, the number of Lietuvos Telekomas' DSL Takas service users has more than doubled to 37,000 in a year.

Lietuvos Telekomas moved to lead trade on Vilnius' Securities Exchange, backed by its impressive nine-month results. VSE index gained 0.96 percent to 236.5 points, while the real-time price index Litin-10 gained 0.78 percent, to end at 2837.57 points. The company, quoted on the bluechip Official List, rose 1.56 percent to 1.95 litas, with 818,800 litas' worth of stocks changing hands. Block trades in Lietuvos Telekomas stock brought in an additional 29,000 litas. Investors rushed to purchase shares in the company following an announcement that the operator's earnings totaled 24.5 million litas, while revenues hit 544 million litas in the first nine months of 2004.

The board chairman of Eesti Telekom's subsidiary EMT, Valdo Kalm, said an estimated 10 percent of all mobile-phone customers in Estonia could switch to a different operator when number portability becomes available next year. "EMT sees opportunities in portability too, so that we expect to achieve a net increase in the number of customers in 2005," Kalm said. At the end of September EMT had 557,300 customers, of which 349,600 had contracts. The subsidiary estimates that its market share of customers stands at 47 percent, with the number of mobile telephone users in Estonia nearly 1.2 million.