Telecom Argentina Reports Revenue Growth of 17% in 2008

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Telecom Argentina (NYSE:TEO) continued its expansions during 2008, and reported AR$10.6 bln in Revenues, a growth of 17% from 2007. Net Income was up 9% from the previous year, and arrived at AR$961 mln, which represents 9.07% of Revenues.

If Net Income in 2007 had not accounted for the sale of Publicom, the year-on-year growth would have been 23%, which is 14% higher than that reported.

By segment, the subscriber base for cellular phones increased 17% during the year, to reach 14.4 million at the end of 2008. Broadband subscription also saw healthy growth, and was up 33% to just over a million. Fixed line subscriptions were up a mere 2%, to 4.3 million.

EBITDA reached AR$3.33 bln, which represents a 9% growth from 2007 and 31% of Revenues. The positive development was driven mainly by the growing cellular phone market. On the other hand, the result from fixed line services continued to deteriorate, affected by the freezing of tariffs on regulated services, and the cost effect of rising inflation.

Investments were also up in 2008, reaching AR$1.597 mln. This represents a 23% growth from 2007. Out of total investments AR$834 mln corresponded to fixed line telecom.

Telecom Argentina has a Market Cap of US$1.4 bln, and is traded as an ADR as 'TEO'. At the current price of US$7.12 per ADR, the company is down 65.42% over the last twelve months, trading now at a P/E of 4.64.