London, United Kingdom, 18 Nov – Portugal Telecom (PT) plans to explore the high growth potential of Brazil and Africa to increase its number of mobile phone subscribers by almost 50 percent, the company’s chief executive told the Financial Times.
Saying that Brazil is “absolutely central and strategic to our business,” Zeinal Bava said that with this expansion the company planned to get between half and two thirds of its revenue from business outside Portugal.
Bava said that PT had no plans to sell its 50 percent stake in Vivo, Brazil’s biggest mobile phone operators, to Spain’s Telefónica, which owns the other 50 percent of the company and which in 2007 offered PT 3 billion euros to acquire its half of the company.
Vivo is one of the biggest contributors to the net profit of 371.9 million euros that PT posted in the first nine months of the year, a fall of 14.2 percent against the same period of 2008, but higher than analyst forecasts.
“Mobile phone penetration in Brazil, of between 80 and 85 percent, continues to be low in comparison with other Latin American countries, where there are penetrations of 100 percent or even more,” Bava said.
The chief executive of PT also said that the company remained interested in investing in mobile phone operators in Sub-Saharan Africa, where the company already has a presence in Angola, Namibia and Cape Verde. (macauhub)