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Telecom Argentina's CEO Discusses Q2 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

According to official indicators, the local economy is showing certain deceleration in sectors like construction and industrial production, that’s a significant decline in the respective levels of affinity. Moreover, investment levels seemed to suffer from the import restrictions and the lower level of growth of the economy.

Moreover, a cautious consumer is slowing private consumption trends due to higher concerns about the economy and the restrictions to the access to the FX market. Inflation remained stable at high levels and in general wage negotiations have concluded at lower levels than last year.

Efforts to achieve a higher commercial balancing to take effect although with some deterioration in fiscal revenues in investments and in level of affinity. Increasing a gap between fiscal revenues and expenditures having covered by the incremental financial assistance from the central bank and the national pensions fund system allowing to preserve the fiscal balance neutral.

Despite this environment, higher commodity prices could help to sustain external balance and the growth in the economy in the near future.

Finally, we'd like to highlight the defensiveness of the communication sector but also remark that is not excluded from the economic cycle.

Having gone through this introduction of the macro context in which we operate, let me pass the call to Franco Bertone, who will go over the business highlights. Franco?

Franco Bertone

Thank you, Pedro and good morning to everyone. This quarter operating performance was good though a lower growth pace affected margin. Business environment was quite challenging and under these conditions the strength of our balance sheet and positive cash position is a very valuable asset to drive market growth.

As a matter of fact, we had a successful MNP start as we have reached first in customer choice, we also made further progress in mobile revenue share leadership and we stay leaders in post-paid net adds. We believe that smartphones are even strong sustained VAS revenue growth particularly mobile Internet that grew 82% year-on-year is a silent proof of a successful strategy.

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