May 14, 2020 / 7:27 AM / 16 days ago

OTE Telecom profit rises, data traffic surges amid lockdown

ATHENS (Reuters) - OTE Telecom (OTEr.AT), Greece’s biggest telecoms operator, reported on Thursday a 3.6% rise in core profit as a surge in data traffic and the addition of broadband customers amid the coronavirus lockdown lifted margins.

OTE Telecom, which is 46% owned and managed by Deutsche Telecom (DTEGn.DE), said earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) came in at 347 million euros ($375.00 million), up from 334.9 million in the same period last year.

OTE said it benefited from the lockdown since the second half of March, as it saw “unprecedented” voice and data traffic volume, while new customers signed up for its broadband services.

However, the pandemic may hurt its operations in Greece and Romania in the second quarter and the operator will implement “stringent” cost cutting to maintain its profitability and cash flow generation this year.

OTE reiterated its targets for free cash flow of 350 million euros and capital expenditure of 600 million for 2020.

Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou and Christopher Cushing

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