– cell calls earnings up 14%
For the first three months this year, the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company has seen cellular phone revenues increasing by 14 per cent as compared to the same period last year.
However, earnings for international long distance calls have declined a whopping 24 per cent.
GT&T’s parent company, Atlantic Tele-Network Inc. (ATN) in its first quarter figures released yesterday, also reported that for the three months ended March 31, 2010, revenue was US$54.7 million compared to the $56 million reported for the first quarter of 2009.
“The $1.4 million year-over-year increase in wireless revenue was driven by a six per cent increase in U.S. domestic wireless revenue, and a 14 per cent increase in wireless revenue in Guyana.”
Commenting on first quarter results, Michael T. Prior, Chief Executive Officer said, “Operating income this quarter was negatively impacted by two major factors.
First, we incurred an additional $5.7 million of costs associated with closing the Alltel acquisition, and second, we saw a sharp reduction in our international long distance revenue, which is a relatively high margin revenue with very little immediate offsetting cost reduction.
Adjusted for acquisition-related costs, our operating margin was 24 per cent, which we consider respectable in light of the sharp fall-off in that high-margin business, which now represents about 14 per cent of total revenue. We expect these revenues to represent approximately three to five per cent of total company revenues once we have an entire quarter of revenue contribution from the recently acquired Alltel assets.”
Wireless revenue in Guyana increased 14 per cent to US$5.6 million.
“At the end of the first quarter, we had approximately 286,000 subscribers in Guyana, up from 254,000 at the end of last year’s first quarter, and comparable to the 289,000 as of the end of the fourth quarter of 2009.” Local telephone and data revenue increased five per cent to $13.7 million compared to $13.1 million in 2009.
“Local telephone and data revenue generated by our Guyana operations increased four per cent to $7.7 million compared to $7.4 million in 2009, while access lines increased six per cent to 148,000 from 140,000.
“Sovernet’s local telephone and data revenue increased seven per cent to $4.9 million from $4.6 million in last year’s first quarter, due mainly to revenue growth at its fiber transport subsidiary, ION.”
International long distance revenue, all of which is generated by our Guyana operations, declined 24 per cent to $7.9 million from $10.4 million in 2009.
“The majority of this decrease, we believe, is a result of continued and considerable illegal bypass activities in the quarter resulting in lost revenue opportunities, and, to a lesser extent, an overall reduction in call volume into Guyana attributable to the current difficult global economic conditions.
“We also believe that this revenue category suffers from overall industry trends in telecommunications that are shifting voice communications to various forms of data communications,” ATN said.
However, ATN said, the long distance revenue was negatively impacted as a result of lower outbound calling rates introduced in January 2010 in Guyana as part of a promotion finally approved by the regulatory authorities.
“We feel that lower outbound rates, while having a negative impact in the short-term, will eventually lead to more outbound calling and traffic volumes that may replace some of the inbound “bypass” calls.
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