Competition weighs on Cellcom Israel's 2Q

Price erosion continues to blight Israel’s telecoms market, as the number of subscribers switching provider slows, the chief executive of domestic telco Cellcom Israel says.
 
Nir Sztern says the level of erosion in the second quarter was lower than in previous quarters, but that a highly competitive market makes holding on to existing customers all the more important.
 
The chief executive made the comments while revealing net income fell 44.6% year on year to 67 million Shekels (€14 million) in 2Q13, on a 17.5% fall in revenue. Sztern noted the firm is still in transition following a merger with Netvision in 2011, and cut costs by 660 million Shekels during the quarter.
 
Yaacov Heen, Cellcom Israel’s chief financial officer, talked up improved cash flow in the quarter, but it wasn’t enough to convince directors to pay a dividend for the period “to further strengthen the company’s balance sheet.”
 

The operator separately announced the appointment of cyber entrepreneur and former Israeli Defense Forces technology head Ron Shvili as its new chief technology officer from November 1. Shvili is replacing Eliezer Ogman, who resigned.

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