Greek OTE 2012 profit rises in line with forecast

ATHENS Thu Feb 28, 2013 3:26am EST

ATHENS Feb 28 (Reuters) - Greece's biggest telecoms company OTE reported on Thursday surging profit in 2012, helped by an asset sale, despite the country's recession.

Net profit stood at 476.4 million euros ($624.5 million) from 119.7 million euros in the previous year, said the company which is controlled by Germany's Deutsche Telekom. This compares to an average 457.2 million euro analyst forecast in a Reuters poll.

Stripping out one-off items, comparable net rose 16 percent to 363.5 million euros, the company said.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) fell 7.8 percent to 1.53 billion euros, in line with analysts' forecast. Sales also dropped in line with forecasts, by 7.1 percent to 4.68 billion euros.

The company said it expected competition to sharpen this year. OTE said on Wednesday it will pass paying a dividend for the second year in a row, as it saves cash to repay debt and cope with the country's recession. ($1 = 0.7628 euros) (Reporting by Harry Papachristou)

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