Telecom Argentina's CEO Discusses Q1 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Telecom Argentina (TEO)

Q1 2012 Earnings Conference Call

May 4, 2012 11:00 AM ET


Pedro Insussarry – Finance Director

Franco Bertone – CEO

Adrián Calaza – CFO


Alex Garcia – Citi

Gregg Abella – Investment Partners

Jennifer Leonard – Morgan Stanley

Federico Chateau – Raymond James



Good day, everyone, and welcome to the Telecom Argentina, TEO, First Quarter 2012 Earnings Conference Call. Just a reminder today’s 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.

And at this time, it is my pleasure to turn the conference over to Mr. Pedro Insussarry. Please go ahead, sir.

Pedro Insussarry

Thank you, Gloria and good morning to everybody. On behalf of Telecom Argentina, I’d like to thank everybody for participating in this conference call. As Gloria mentioned, our moderator, the purpose of this call is to share with you the consolidated results of Telecom Argentina Group that corresponds to the first quarter of fiscal year 2012 that ended last March, 31, 2011.

We would like to remind you that for all those that have not received our press release or presentation, you can call Solange Barthe and her team or download via Investor Relations section of our website located at Additionally, this conference call is being broadcasted through our webcast feature available in such section and can also be replayed through this same channel.

Before we continue with the conference call, I would like to go over some Safe Harbor information and other details of the call, as we usually do in our quarterly conference calls. 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 and 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 and legislation or in regulation.

Our press release dated February 3, 2012, a copy of which is being included in our 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 conference calls, the agenda for today as seen in slide two, is to go over the general market overview, then we’ll go over some business highlights, and after that, we will go over some specifics of the evolution of our financial figures. And finally, we will end the call with our traditional Q&A session.

And having gone through these procedural matters, I will go over a brief macro overview as an introduction to the general operating environment. In slide three, we include some snapshots on the current Argentine macroeconomic scenario. Through the first quarter 2012 private consumption maintaining its emphasis being the main driver of the economy. The international context has shown improvements as moderate recovery in the US continues and in Europe somehow received although risks remain high.

Regarding domestic factors some decelerations has been noted after complicated fourth quarter of 2011. The measures taken by the authority seeing to come into effect interest rates have decreased and capital outflows that is, although the industrial production has accelerated.

Measures taken in the FX market and monetary policy being rather our commodities drove interest rates to low level stimulating or continue to stimulate prior consumption. And this trends inflation remains high, while we have started somewhat at the lower levels than previous year.

The fiscal front continues to show gradual deterioration despite the policies taken by the federal administration to transfer this to private sector mainly through reductions and subsidies on the external front after measures adopted in late 2011 to mitigate a potential deterioration of the balance and payments decreased to its lower level than last two years well extras remain rather stable, thanks to high commodity prices.

After 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 Bertone

Thank you, Pedro and good morning to everyone. 1Q 2012 delivered solid topline growth in margin. Sales were strong and we kept growing more than the market basis. Overall performance spending line of exceeded guidance that we provided due to margin.

Please turn to slide five for first quarter business highlights. Mobile business have to continued to retain market leadership of cost savings, land refining contain and being those movements if you are not MNP were well received and strengthen our position in the market. Value-added services continued to be the main driver of growth increasing 44% year-on-year, and unprecedented 62% in the last service revenue.

Internet wireline revenues showed a strong performance. Our Bandwidth wireline 3G broadband product is providing – proving quite successful. FTTC service deployment program started and it’s ramping according to plan.

Bandwidth fiscal year was up IFRS reporting and margin were up 10% from sales marketing efforts along with operational roaming cost due to subsidized electrical power rates being discontinued by last quarter.

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