OTE reported a solid start to the year with higher profitability and strong customer base in the first quarter of 2023. More specifically, adjusted EBITDA was up 1.6%, EBITDA margin stood at 43.3%, on strict cost management. Continuing Mobile Service Revenues growth, was up 2.7%, driven by both postpaid and prepaid. Total Group Revenues were lower on Greece wholesale and high comparative base in Romania; Adjusted Group EBITDA was impacted by Romania MVNO terminations.
OTE remains committed to continuously enhancing its efficiency and streamlining its cost base, to further raise profitability. In 2023, OTE expects to generate Free Cash Flow of approximately 500 million euros, reflecting higher income tax payments compared to 2022, lower financial expenses, stable Capex, and improvement in operational performance in Greece. otal 2023 Shareholder Remuneration is targeted at approximately 425 million euros, corresponding to a proposed 250 million cash dividend (0.5765 per share) and a share buyback program of approximately 175 million rutod.
OTE’s Consolidated Revenues were down 2.0% in the first quarter to 803.6 million euros. In Greece, revenues were down 0.9% to 736.2 million euros, as strong Mobile and ICT performances were offset by a drop in revenues from international wholesale (low margin) and retail fixed services. In Romania, revenues were down 12.0% at 69.0 million, mainly reflecting the termination of the MVNO offering to FMC customers, as well as the impact of mobile termination rate (MTR) cuts. Total Operating Expenses, excluding depreciation, amortization, impairment, and charges related to restructuring costs (primarily voluntary leave schemes), amounted to 463.0 million, down 3.4% compared to the same period last year, mainly reflecting lower direct costs due to the drop in wholesale revenues as well as savings in several cost areas, notably personnel and energy costs. Group Adjusted EBITDA (AL) was down 1.0% at 322.0 million euros, resulting in a margin of 40.1%. Group profit before tax amounted to 175.7 million euros, up 2.3% from last year. The Group’s Net Debt stood at 506.2 million euros as of March 31, 2023, down 18.4% compared to 2022.