Telecom Argentina S.A. ( TEO)

Q1 2011 Earnings Call

May 3, 2011 11:00 AM ET


Pedro Insussarry – Head of Finance

Franco Bertone – CEO

Adrián Calaza – CFO


Marcio Fernandez – Merrill Lynch



Good day everyone, welcome to Telecom Argentina First quarter 2011 Earnings conference call. Today call is being recorded. Participating on today’s call we have Mr. Franco Bertone, Chief Executive Officer of Telecom Argentina; Mr. Adrián Calaza, Chief Financial Officer; Mr. Pedro Insussarry, Finance Director ; and Mrs. Solange Barthe Dennin, Manager of Investor Relations.

At this time, I’d like to turn the conference over to Mr. Pedro Insussarry. Please go ahead, sir.

Pedro Insussarry

Okay, good morning to everybody and thank you very much for participating in this conference call. As mentioned by [inaudible] our moderator the purpose of this call to share with you the consolidated results of Telecom Argentina and correspond to the first quarter fiscal year 2011 ended on last March 31st. We would like to remind you that for all those that have not received our press release or our presentation you can call our investor relations office or download them from the investor relation section of our website at

Additionally this conference call is being broadcasted through the website feature available in sub section and can also be replayed through this same feature. Before we continue with the conference call I would like to go over the typical Safe Harbor information and other details of the call. So we would like to clarify that during the conference call and Q&A session we may produce certain forward-looking statements about Telecom’s future performance, plans, strategies and targets.

Such statements are subject to uncertainties that could cause Telecom’s actual results and operations to differ materially. Such uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the effects of the public emergency law or complementary regulation, the effects of ongoing industry and economic regulation, possible changes in demand for Telecom products and services, and the effects of marginal factors such as changes in general market or economic conditions, in legislation, or in regulation.

Our press release dated March 2nd, 2011, a copy of which is being included in a Form 6-K report to be furnished to the SEC, describes certain factors that may affect any forward-looking statements that we may produce during this session. Furthermore, we urge the audience of this conference call to read the disclaimer clause contained in slide one of the presentation.

As usual in our quarterly conference calls, the agenda for today as seen in slide two is to go over the general market overview, then we’ll go over through some business highlights, and after that we’ll go over some specifics of the evolution of our financial figures, and we will end the call with a traditional Q&A session.

I’ll go over the brief macro overview as an introduction to the general operating environment. In slide three, we include some snapshots of the current Argentina macroeconomic environment. You can note that a macro conditions are giving support to the growth of our business during the first quarter the Argentina economy continued its growing trends the private consumption the main driver of the economy while the investment protection leaded the expansion to our car production and construction materials show the best performance in the sector.

Going forward it is possible that in the next quarters the [inaudible] restrains could slow down the industrial output if winter temperatures are severe. Moreover the agriculture period of harvest has begun and the protection would be near to record levels in the context of high commodity prices. In the context of high inflation increasing consumptions investment in construction and expenditure in tourism have been the waves. The population reacted to inflation on the contrary to savings that have been discouraged by low real interest rates.

Telecommunication services have benefited in this context, expense and increase in demand for Telecom goods and all orientation with [inaudible] Our cost structure suffered a reduced impact from it. On the fiscal front the banner seems stable, I word it as slightly improved taking into account the production in the use of unconventional resources like certain bank and National Pension Fund transfers to the treasury.

None the less, subsidiaries to the private sector continued growing particularly in sectors like energy and transport together with high transfers for social plans. Also despite government measures to limit imports these have been growing at a higher pace than expected. Yes, with increasing commodity prices we have benefitted Argentina with better terms of trade particularly in the first quarter trade surplus decreased by 10% when compared to the first quarter 2010.

In this challenging macroeconomic context our company has more than well performed in the quarter both in terms of business and operations as we will see during this conference call. After 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 everyone. First quarter 2011 delivered a strong results. We continue leading the mobile market retaining number one from net adds for the second year in a row capturing valuable customer and successfully developing the customer interest for mobile internet and other value added services.

As highlighted in slide five in this quarter our mobile ARPU increased 16% year-on-year, thanks to booming value added service revenue fostered by mobile internet, social networking and SMS. We introduced tablet devices in the market maintaining our innovation leadership.

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