March 12, 2018 / 2:20 PM / a year ago

Portgual's NOS sees revenue growth slowing amid tough competition

LISBON, March 12 (Reuters) - Portugal’s second largest telecom operator NOS expects tough competition in a mature market to put the brakes on revenue growth this year, Chief Executive Miguel Almeida said on Monday.

Revenue rose 3 percent last year to 1.56 billion euros ($1.92 billion), down from near 5 percent growth in 2016. In the fourth quarter, revenue grew only 2.2 percent year-on-year, the company said in a results statement.

“It’s true that there has been a deceleration in the fourth quarter and we expect that in 2018 there will be a deceleration again,” Almeida told reporters.

“The market is getting more mature, its growth potential is diminishing and so, we expect revenue growth to slow down,” he added.

Rivals include MEO, owned by Altice, and Vodafone .

“It is a market with strong competition, with big investment by all the operators, with a very strong battle for customers. This is what we expect again for 2018, and we are ready for it.”

CaixaBank/BPI analysts pointed to slowing revenue growth and the evolution of the corporate market as the key points of concern about NOS’ outlook.

Despite the fact that the company’s 37 percent rise in 2017 net profit beat market forecasts, helped by more clients and market share gains, NOS shares were up just 0.2 percent in early afternoon trading, underperforming the broader market in Lisbon. ($1 = 0.8131 euros) (Reporting By Daniel Alvarenga, writing by Andrei Khalip Editing by Keith Weir)

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