Profit UTS drops dramatically

POSTED: 05/29/13 12:19 PM

WILLEMSTAD – GREAT BAY – Telecom provider UTS booked a 3 million guilders ($1.66 million) profit in 2012, 10.6 million guilders ($5.9 million) below the 2011-profit. Minister Balborda (Traffic, Transportation and Urban Planning) announced the results in parliament yesterday.

Several parliamentarians wanted to know the reason for the drop in profit. The 2012-result was the worst in the company’s history since it recorded a 54 million guilders loss in 2005. Ever since UTS has been profitable, peaking at 24 million guilders in 2006. After that year the profit never exceeded 8.2 million guilders.

Balborda said that the international trend indicates that revenue for telecom companies will go down due to increased competition and new technologies.

Pueblo Soberano MP Ivar Asjes wanted to know whether it is correct and for which reasons the company’s profits dropped so dramatically last year.

The meeting of the parliament in Curacao was a continuation of a meeting that was adjourned on March 19. In that meeting many parliamentarians expressed their concerns about the bad service of the UTS-daughter OneNet, an internet provider. In March subscribers were unable to send or receive mails.

Balborda said yesterday that the problems at OneNet have been resolved.

The answers the minister presented in parliament were written by UTS according to a report in the Amigoe newspaper. UTS referred to technical problems caused by “the changing telecom landscape on the island. Balborda said that there is more data than phone traffic in Curacao. UTS is in the process of adjusting its network to this situation.

UTS also suffered from interferences with the frequencies the government put at its disposal. These problems have been solved in cooperation with the supervisor, the Bureau Telecommunication Post and Utilities.

Balborda also spent time on questions the now murdered MP Helmin Wiels posed on March 19 about the UTS subsidiaries in St. Kitts and Suriname. Both companies are loss-making and they are currently for sale, Balborda said, adding that there is a possibility for a strategic partnership with these companies in the future.

Wiels always maintained that UTS would do better by investing in Curacao rather than taking part in risky ventures.

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