Brazilian mobile operator TIM Participacoes (TIM Brasil) today reported its financial results for the last quarter of 2009, revealing that net profits at the firm dropped 14% on the same period of 2008 due a drop in call minutes booked and its decision to use fewer tax credits. The country’s third largest wireless operator by subscribers posted net income of BRL330 million (USD 181 million) in the period under review, down from BRL384 million previously. In its regulatory filing the operator said gross revenue dipped 4% from 4Q08, due in part to a 40% drop in ancillary product sales and an 11% decline in average revenue per user (ARPU). The filing went on to say that the company used about 64% less in available tax credits, or BRL47.8 million, helping drive down its bottom line. Fourth-quarter net revenue dropped 4.4% y-o-y to BRL3.4 billion and operating costs fell 7% to BRL2.45 billion. EBITDA was up 3% to BRL958.5 million in 4Q09, compared to BRL931 million previously.
TIM Brasil ended 2009 with 41.1 million subscribers, up 12.9% from the end of 2008, and representing a market share of 23.6%. Total net additions in the fourth quarter came to 4.7 million lines, or 20.2% of total market net additions. Average revenue per user (ARPU) came at BRL27.0 in 4Q09, a growth of 1.7% when compared to the previous quarter. The cellco’s GSM network covered 94% of the country’s urban population, serving around 2,958 cities, as at 31 December 2009. As for data coverage, TIM provides GPRS technology to 100% of its footprint, while 77% is covered through EDGE technology, it said. In addition, TIM’s 3G coverage was present in more than 57 cities at the end of 2009 – reaching 30% of urban population in Brazil.