January 25, 2013 / 1:30 PM / in 5 years

Telekom Austria sees woes beyond 2013 - newsletter

VIENNA, Jan 25 (Reuters) - Telekom Austria said the low point in its profit and sales would likely not be reached this year because of competition in its domestic market.

Asked if there was an end was in sight, finance director Hans Tschuden told the Boerse-Express newsletter: “The bottom ... will likely not be reached this year. But there is the hope that there will be a stabilisation afterwards.”

Telekom Austria has been engaged for years in a price war with smaller telecoms operators, who are all struggling to make a profit as they offer all-inclusive mobile deals for as little as 7 euros ($9) per month.

Hutchison Whampoa bought bigger rival Orange Austria this month in a 1.3 billion euro deal the industry hoped would help repair the market. So far, the price pressure has shown no sign of easing.

Separately on Friday, Telekom Austria said it had placed a 600 million euro bond to help refinance maturing debt, invest in networks, and pay for budget mobile brand Yesss! which it bought for 390 million euros this month.

Tschuden said the company would still need to find financing for radio frequency auctions later this year in Austria and Slovenia - one of the several central and eastern European countries where it also has operations.

“Theoretically, we could issue a bond there, but we also have a billion euros in credit lines,” he said. ($1 = 0.7477 euro) (Reporting by Georgina Prodhan; Editing by Dan Lalor)

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