Croatia's biggest telco posts lower 2012 revenues, profit

ZAGREB Thu Feb 14, 2013 3:32am EST

ZAGREB Feb 14 (Reuters) - Croatia's biggest telecom operator, T-HT , said the country's protracted economic crisis dented 2012 revenues and net profit and predicted revenues would fall further this year.

The company, which is majority-owned by Deutsche Telekom , posted a 7.6 percent year-on-year decline in revenues to 7.46 billion kuna ($1.32 billion). Net profit fell 6.4 percent to 1.7 billion kuna.

Chief Executive Ivica Mudrinic said in a statement the proposed dividend for last year would be 20.51 kuna per share, down from 22.14 kuna a year before.

"The economic environment deteriorated more than previously anticipated...and no meaningful far-reaching structural reforms have been initiated. The residential and corporate sectors tightened spending further and the public sector delayed investments in IT," he said.

Croatia, which is scheduled to join the European Union on July 1, suffered four years of economic contraction in a row and for 2013 most analysts expect growth of 0.8 percent at best.

"Looking ahead, we remain highly cautious and expect the difficult economic environment to continue," Mudrinic said.

T-HT has some 1.3 million landline customers and some 2.3 million mobile subscribers in the country of 4.4 million people.

Its main local competitors are Vipnet, owned by Telekom Austria and Sweden's Tele2. ($1 = 5.6450 Croatian kunas) (Reporting by Igor Ilic; Editing by Helen Massy-Beresford)

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