April 24, 2018 / 6:01 PM / 2 years ago

UPDATE 1-Rebranding write-downs wipe out Telekom Austria net profit

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VIENNA, April 24 (Reuters) - First-quarter net profit at Telekom Austria, a unit of Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim’s America Movil, shrank by three quarters because of amortisation prompted by a rebranding effort, the company said on Tuesday.

Beyond its home market, Telekom Austria operates in four countries in the former Yugoslavia, plus Bulgaria and Belarus.

It is gradually changing its local brand name to A1 in various countries, which prompted brand value amortisation of 101.1 million euros ($124 million) in the first three months of the year. The rebranding will weigh on profits until 2019 and more than half the impact has now been accounted for, it said.

That amortisation, which was driven by Bulgaria and to a lesser extent Belarus, Croatia and Macedonia, meant net profit in the three months through March fell 75 percent to 24.5 million euros compared with the same period a year earlier.

Revenue grew 1.2 percent, in line with its guidance of an increase of 1-2 percent this year, which it said remained unchanged. Earnings before interest, tax depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose 0.2 percent.

Telekom announced last week that T-Systems executive Thomas Arnoldner will replace Alejandro Plater as chief executive in September, but it gave no indication on Tuesday of whether its strategy might change when he takes over. ($1 = 0.8172 euros) (Reporting by Francois Murphy Editing by Alexander Smith)

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