Oi reports $170m quarterly profit months after completing restructuring

14 May 2019 | Alan Burkitt-Gray

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Troubled Brazilian operator Oi has made a quarterly profit of $170 million after its bankruptcy reorganisation.

But revenue fell 9.5% in the quarter compared with the same period of 2018, the company said, blaming “fierce competition in the residential segment, fewer business days in the first quarter this year (which had an impact on prepaid revenues) and the still slow recovery in the corporate segment”.

Oi went into bankruptcy protection in 2016 with debts of $19 billion – the largest corporate failure in Brazil. Most of the money was owned to banks and to the regular, Anatel.

There were reports in 2017 that China Telecom and China Mobile were prepared to bid for the company but eventually it was restructured via a debt-for-equity swap, a process completed in January 2019.

In last night’s quarterly report, Oi said the decline in net revenues was mainly due to a reduction in the market for fixed line and copper broadband, which is facing strong competition from regional providers.

Oi has accelerated its fibre expansion plan and is planning to expand the availability of fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) “at an average cost 30% lower than the traditional approach and more commercially efficient, meeting the market demand”.