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Telecom Argentina CEO Discusses Q2 2011 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

As already mentioned, consumption remained strong promoted by low interest rates and extensive installments plans for the purchase of durable goods. Moreover, despite high inflation, consumer confidence reaches a four-year record high level, although it was stable through the recent months. Probably one of the reasons for the booming consumption is that wages are growing in a similar way to inflation, and in some cases even faster, fostering consumption.

On the fiscal front, fiscal balance remains stable, fuelled by the economic recovery, although public spending continues at record high levels, and it could suffer further increases due to additional expenditures related to the upcoming presidential elections. The trade balance was affected by growing imports and somewhat slow export growth. Capital outflows have increased in the second quarter of 2011, and will probably remain high during the election period.

In this challenging macroeconomic context for Argentina, our company continues to deliver growth, both in terms of its business and operations. And we will highlight them during this conference call. And having gone through this introduction let me pass the call to Franco Bertone, who will go over with the business highlights. Franco?

Franco Bertone

Thank you, Pedro, and good morning to everyone. Second quarter 2011 posted a fairly solid performance in all lines of businesses. We led the mobile market with highest growth of net cash and subscribed lines, and we had a healthy growth in the fixed segments too.

As highlighted in Slide 5, please turn to Slide 5. We were leaders in the mobile net adds, while improving our mix of addition and recording record-fast revenues that currently are at high as 46% of service revenues. Our Paraguayan operation as well performed well in a consolidated environment.

Our position as an integrated ICT provider is getting stronger and new product launches boost the fixed broadband business. Consequently internet and data revenues rose 28% year-on-year and the overall fixed business revenue posted a consistent 16% year-on-year growth in the third semester of 2011. Because of strong operating performance, our free cash flow exceeded the equivalent of P$500 million in the last 12 months. And net income rose 41%, reaching at P$1.2 billion in the first half of this year.

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