May 9, 2018 / 7:56 AM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-OTE Telecom reports Q1 profit rise as Greece recovers

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ATHENS, May 9 (Reuters) - Greece’s biggest telecoms operator OTE posted a 3.6 percent rise in first-quarter core profit on Wednesday helped by a recovery in its home market.

The former national monopoly, now 40 percent owned and managed by Deutsche Telekom, reported earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of 315 million euros ($372.65 million), up from 304 million.

Heavy spending on new high-speed VDSL broadband services and a fast-growing pay-TV business helped the group win back customers in Greece, where sales had been dented by a sluggish economy after a seven-year debt crisis.

It reported an 8.9 percent increase in subscribers for broadband, a 4.5 percent rise in TV and a 4 percent rise in mobile services.

OTE said it expects positive trends to continue throughout the year, with recovering economic conditions in Greece supporting its fixed and mobile business and outweighing weakness in Romania, its biggest foreign market.

Sales fell 0.8 percent to 921 million euros in the three months to March 31 with OTE citing lower international traffic and the conclusion of a big broadband project in Greece.

Its shares trade at 19-times its 12-month forward earnings versus 10.5 times for Telefonica and 15.4 times for Telekom Austria.

$1 = 0.8453 euros Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou; editing by Jason Neely

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