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Croatia's T-HT earnings squeezed by recession and EU entry
February 14, 2014 / 8:00 AM / in 4 years

Croatia's T-HT earnings squeezed by recession and EU entry

* FY rev down 6.8 pct at 7.04 bln kuna

* Net profit down 15 pct at 1.44 bln

* Cuts dividend to 9 kuna/shr from 20.5 kuna

ZAGREB, Feb 14 (Reuters) - Croatia’s biggest telecom operator T-HT said on Friday its revenue and net profit were dented in 2013 by a protracted economic crisis and regulatory changes due to the country’s European Union entry.

Revenue fell 6.8 percent year-on-year to 7.04 billion kuna ($1.3 billion), while net profit was down 15 percent at 1.44 billion, the group said. It is cutting its dividend to 9 kuna per share from 20.5 kuna.

“The economic downturn and significant regulatory changes strongly impacted the 2013 performance, but we have maintained our leading position across all segments of the Croatian telecommunication market,” T-HT Chief Executive Davor Tomaskovic said.

Croatia, which joined the EU last July, has suffered five straight years of recession, while EU entry meant the introduction of regulatory changes particularly in so-called roaming and termination fees.

Tomaskovic said the company’s focus this year was to seek ways to reverse the declining trend in its results.

“We will intensify investment in infrastructure development and increased service quality, while also identifying and exploiting regional business expansion opportunities in southeast European markets,” he said.

T-HT, majority owned by Deutsche Telekom, serves 1.2 million fixed line customers and 2.3 million mobile subscribers in a country of 4.4 million people.

Its main local competitors are Vipnet, owned by Telekom Austria, and Sweden’s Tele2.

T-HT said it expected a decline of revenue also this year, but at a slower pace. ($1 = 5.6024 Croatian kuna) (Reporting by Igor Ilic; Editing by David Holmes)

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