Magyar Telekom ups 2013 projections; success to depend on Macedonia, energy sales

Telco

Does Magyar Telekom (MTel) owe a successful 2013 to Macedonia? That’s the contention of MTel Deputy CEO Jánós Szabó, who, along with announcing a higher revised revenue forecast, stated today that the telecommunications company’s figures depend on its Macedonian business as well as its interests in Hungary-based energy retail.

Previously forecast for a flat year 2013, the company’s consolidated IFRS report released today shows a 5.9% rise year-on-year to HUF 13.8 billion for the second quarter; MTel Christopher Mattheison said that the company now expects revenue to increase, going on to describe market conditions in Macedonia as “remain[ing] challenging” due mainly to lower prices offered by competitors there.

Szabó pointed out at the related follow-up press conference that a tax on telecommunications services and higher VAT rate added to the company’s difficulties in Montenegro. MTel recently purchased frequency blocks within the 800 MHz and 1800 MHz spectrums for €10.3 million, and plans are in place to offer 4G services to Macedonian citizens by year’s end, according to MTI.

As for MTel’s electricity and gas business in Hungary, which began sales in April 2012 and upon which Szabó said MTel’s success in 2013 depends, the deputy CEO promised a continued focus on corporate energy sales but added that the company is looking to move into retail sale “under the same conditions as universal service providers.” MTel is reporting negotiating said conditions with the government is ongoing, with further details expected by the end of October.

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