Optical fiber is “gradually starting to win over” OTE subscribers

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Of Foti Fotinos

OTE expects an improvement in the second half of the year as well, due to the positive prospects of tourism, albeit at a milder pace, maintaining the goals it has set for 2022.

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OTE group’s adjusted investments are estimated to increase to approximately 620 million, while free cash flow will rise to approximately 600 million.

Yesterday OTE announced its first half results, according to which group turnover increased by 3.7% to 1.674 billion euros and adjusted EBITDA (AL) by 7.6% to 658.1 million euros .

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Accordingly, quarter-on-quarter (Q2), turnover increased by 2.7% to €849.6 million and adjusted EBITDA (AL) by 7.2% to €332.8 million.

Both the President and CEO of OTE, Michalis Tsamaz, and the Chief Financial Officer, Babis Mazarakis, appeared yesterday, during the teleconference on the financial results of the first semester, optimistic about the second semester, underlining that the recovery of tourism and of roaming revenues, as well as cost containment in certain areas, will contribute “to OTE facing possible challenges in an increasingly uncertain environment”, such as inflationary pressures, but also energy costs.

Especially for the second, Mr. Mazarakis commented that the contracts concerning 75% of the energy needs are “locked” and expire in 2023, specifying the additional cost, from the rise in energy prices, at 10 million euros.

Performance in Greece, increase in FttH subscribers

Extensive reference was made in yesterday’s conference call to the fiber optic network and the gradual shift of customers to it.

As reported, fiber subscribers increased by 207k in the quarter, bringing the total to 1,415k.

This increase, according to OTE senior executives, is due to the company’s initiative to upgrade broadband service speeds to approximately 750,000 subscribers this year, as well as ongoing investments in the fiber-to-the-home network.

At the end of June, OTE had upgraded approximately 80% of upgradeable connections.

As a result of the increase in fiber subscribers, the penetration of fiber services, on the total broadband base, increased by 14 percentage points year-on-year to 61.9%.

The proportion of subscribers enjoying speeds of 100Mbps or higher reached 43% of fiber connections at the end of June, more than double the 20% a year ago.

OTE also accelerated the development of the FTTH network, reaching 674 thousand lines at the end of June, while it plans to reach approximately 1 million households by the end of 2022.

OTE’s FTTH subscriber base grew by 17k in the quarter, reaching 92k, and the percentage of households and businesses that are customers of the service, relative to availability, rose to 14%, up from 10% last year.

TV and mobile performance

Also, yesterday, reference was made to the group’s performance in pay TV, as well as mobile telephony.

OTE TV subscribers continued to grow, reaching 642 thousand on June 30, up 10.8% year-on-year.

During the quarter, the company announced a three-year agreement for the broadcasting rights of Olympiacos matches for the Greek football league.

Accordingly, on June 30, OTE mobile telephony customers reached 7.3 million, up by 4.8%, compared to the second quarter of 2021.

The increase is due to the increase by 5.2% of contract customers and by 4.5% of prepaid customers.

Regarding the mobile investment program, OTE announced that it continues to expand its 5G network and aims for population coverage of 80% by the end of 2022.

The company has set a target of 90% for the end of 2023, today population coverage exceeds 70%.

Source: Capital

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