BUDAPEST Feb 28 Hungarian group Magyar Telekom
posted a surprise quarterly net loss as it relied more
on less profitable businesses and special costs like tax and
severance payments weighed on the bottom line, the company said
in a quarterly report on Thursday.
The fourth-quarter net loss was 1.61 billion forints ($7.13
million), compared with a forecast for a 900 million forint
profit in a survey by financial news website portfolio.hu.
The company, a unit of Germany's Deutsche Telekom
, reported full-year revenue of 607.1 billion forints,
up 1.6 percent, in line with recent guidance but ahead of
original expectations as sales of retail gas and electricity,
smart phones and TV sets rose more than expected.
Underlying earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and
amortisation (EBITDA) came in at 234.3 billion forints in 2012,
a 4.4 percent decline. The company's underlying EBITDA margin of
31.8 percent was down from 36.2 percent a year ago.
"This decrease reflects the increasing contribution of the
lower-margin retail energy and (system integration and
information technology) revenues, coupled with the continued
decline of high-margin voice revenues," the company said in its
The company also warned of a depressed market environment
ahead and said its profit margin, revenue, EBITDA and capital
expenditures will all decline in 2013. A recently introduced
special telecommunications tax in Hungary will also continue to
erode the bottom line, it added.
"In the short-term, we expect market conditions to remain
challenging due to sustained pressures on disposable income
levels and continued intense competition, along with persistent
negative impacts from recently introduced fiscal measures,"
chairman and chief executive, Christopher Mattheisen, said.
The company should see revenues decline by up to 3 percent,
reported EBITDA by 4-7 percent, and capital expenditures down by
about 5 percent, Mattheisen said.
Quarterly revenue rose 3.4 percent to 164.9 billion forints,
slightly above expectations for 159 billion.
($1 = 225.7953 Hungarian forints)
(Reporting by Marton Dunai; Editing by Matt Driskill)