On 6 May, GO plc published its interim Directors’ statement covering the first quarter of 2010 to 31 March 2010. During this period the telecoms Group registered growth in Group turnover and profitability over the comparative period last year from its operations in Malta. The Directors explained that revenue from fixed line operations remain stable whilst the mobile arm recorded a drop in revenue during the period under review. On the other hand, the positive performance of the Bell Med Group contributed to an increase in GO’s revenue. The GO Group also confirmed that it is reaping the benefits of the restructuring carried out in the past years which resulted in significant cost reductions – particularly those relating to headcount.
The Directors reported that the intense competition in the local telecoms market and the challenging economic environment are having a negative effect on the Average Rate Per User (ARPU) levels across most of the group’s product lines. Nonetheless, the Group’s customer connections in mobile, broadband and television services are growing at a faster rate than the corresponding figures in the first three months of 2009. Moreover, the decline in fixed-voice connections is marginal and well below that of last year.
In the statement, the Directors confirmed that in March 2010 Forgendo Limited (the joint venture company between GO and Emirates International Telecommunications) increased its shareholding in Forthnet S.A. by a further 2.78% (equivalent to 4,316,931 shares) for a total consideration of €4.7 million (€1.08 per share) to a total of 39.88%. The Directors did not comment on the performance of Forthnet as the Greek company will be publishing its results for the first three months of the year by the end of May 2010.