Spanish telecoms group Auna posted better-than-expected year-end financial results for 2001 amid continued uncertainty about the future of its stake in struggling DTT platform Quiero TV and its various cable interests.
Auna reported before tax earnings (EBITDA) of Euros 93m, a 35% improvement on anticipated figures and well above year 2000 losses of Euros 679m. In a statement Auna president Luis Alberto Salazar-Simpson said the company's goal was to reach an EBITDA of Euros 600m in 2002, "multiplying 2001 results by six."
Nevertheless, a sale of the conglom's 49% stake in Quiero still looks likely. The platform is losing money and struggling to gain subscribers against competition from digital satellite providers Canal Satellite Digital and Via Digital. Auna is also rumoured to be considering a merger of its cable interests with those of Spain's biggest operator, Ono.
In December, Telecom Italia sold its 26.86% stake in Auna to Spanish shareholders Endesa, Fenosa and Banco Santander for an estimated Euros 2bn (pts333bn). Santander executive Joan David Grima was recently appointed vice president of Auna.