LISBON Feb 28 Portugal Telecom (PT) posted on Thursday a surprise 10 percent rise in fourth-quarter net profit, countering market expectations of a drop as revenues dipped due to a deepening recession in debt-laden, bailed out Portugal.
PT's net profit rose to 41.4 million euros ($54.3 million), compared to an average of 29 million euros predicted by analysts in a Reuters poll. The result was helped by a 10 percent reduction in operating costs to 1.08 billion euros.
In a statement, PT said earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, a key measure of cash flow known as EBITDA, edged up 1 percent to almost 540 million euros, largely in line with analysts' expectations of 538 million euros.
Revenues fell 6.7 percent to 1.61 billion euros, coming in slightly above the consensus of 1.6 billion euros, with Brazil's Oi bringing in 747 million euros, or 4 percent less than a year ago. PT owns a 25 percent stake in Brazil's largest telecommunications company.
PT's domestic revenue fell 8 percent to 660 million in the quarter due to the bailed out country's deep recession, although a rise in the number of internet and pay-TV clients cushioned the decline. ($1 = 0.7628 euros) (Reporting By Filipe Alves and Andrei Khalip)