Wind Hellas expects more growth in 2018, CEO says

The Greek telecoms market showed signs of recovery in 2017, after eight years of decline, Nasos Zarkalis, CEO in Wind Hellas said on Thursday.

Speaking to reporters during a news conference, Zarkalis said Wind Hellas ensured its growth course in 2017 and recorded an increase in turnover both in the mobile and fixed telephony, strong liquidity, dynamic performance in customer base and expressed his confidence that 2018 will be a year of growth. “Our goal for this year is to accelerate growth rates,” Zarkalis said.

The Greek telecoms market reached 4.2 billion euros in value in 2017, with the mobile market value at 1.82 billion, the fixed-telephony market at 2.17 pct and the cable TV market value at 0.21 billion euros. Zarkalis said a small increase in the value of the market in 2017 was related to a stabilization in the macroeconomic environment, but noted that a return back to 2008 levels would need several more years (the market value was 7.4 billion in 2008).

Wind Hellas reported a 3.9 pct increase in turnover to 494 million euros in 2017, and EBITDA up 13.6 pct to 103.4 million euros. Mobile telephony accounted for 63 pct of revenue to 313.2 million euros, up 2.8 pct from 2016, while fixed telephony turnover was 181 million euros, up 5.8 pct.

Zarkalis said Golden Tree and Cyros (the two largest shareholders in the company) raised their equity stake to 75 pct and said a successful bond loan issue last November helped the company to close the year with 150 million euros in cash. Mobile telephony subscribers totaled 801,000 last year, up 4.1 pct from 2016, while fixed telephony grew 6.0 pct to 592,000. Wind Hellas said its fiber optics network will cover 170,000 lines around Greece by the end of September 2018 to reach 442,000 by the end of 2019.

Wind Hellas invested 95 million euros in 2017 and plans to invest 95-105 million this year. Zarkalis said TV will become a third pylon in the company’s development.