>

Profit up for Telecom Argentina but Tech Tax is an issue

Executive Director Franco Betone of Telecom Argentina SA has said they continue to post solid earning through the first 3 quarters of 2009, but face challenges because of recent regulatory changes in Argentina reports an article over on the WSJ.

Telecom Argentia SA reported a net profit of 1 billion Argentine pesos which is roughly $262 million, for the first 3 quarters which is a raise of 21 percent from the previous year and net sales climbed some 14 percent to ARS8.9 billion.

Economists estimate inflations is running at about a 15 percent annual rate, is weighing on the bottom line and Telecom Argentina will need to be concerned about this in 2010 confirmed Bertone and also said that the firm concentrated on reducing their debt this year to limit the impact of local currency fluctuations.

Telecom Argentina in October announced they had cleared off the last $352 million owed on a $1.9 billion loan extended back in 2005; the payment reduced total debt by 88 percent this year to ARS143 million.

However, the sector is expected to suffer due to a new law which was passed by Congress on the 4th of November which doubles the value added tax on mobile phones, cameras, televisions and other products not produced in the Tierra del Fuego special economic zone.