Telekom Slovenia profits grow, eyes acquisitions in Bosnia

LJUBLJANA Thu Feb 27, 2014 6:51am EST

LJUBLJANA Feb 27 (Reuters) - Telekom Slovenia said its net profit grew 17 percent last year thanks partly to cost controls and it forecast further growth in 2014 as it strengthens its presence in the region.

Chief Executive Rudolf Skobe said the company was looking at acquisition opportunities in Bosnia where it aims "to become the number-one alternative service provider".

He gave no further details.

Net profit last year grew to 52.3 million euros while revenue rose 0.5 percent to 799.2 million euros.

Telekom Slovenia's mobile phone subscriber base grew by 5.2 percent and fixed broadband connections rose 1.4 percent. The company also added more customers for its television services via the internet.

It said it expected this year's net profit to increase by nearly 15 percent to 63 million euros ($86.10 million).

After a year of speculation that Slovenia might become the European Union next bailout case, the government announced in December it could overhaul its troubled banks alone.

To help recapitalise the banks, the government aims to sell over a dozen state-controlled firms, including Telekom Slovenia.

The small Alpine nation is hoping to attract interest from Deutsche Telekom, Telenor and others as it seeks to sell a stake in the company.

State-owned investment fund SOD, which is coordinating the sale with the government, has hired Citigroup to organise the sale of a roughly 75 percent stake. The fund said it expected to wrap up the sell-off by the end of 2014.

Shares in Telekom Slovenia, with a market capitalisation of 872.9 million euros, rose nearly 0.4 percent to 133.5 euros on the Ljubljana bourse.

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