21 January 2004

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Maltacom chairman rules out redundancies

As the Maltacom Group seeks to invest in innovation in the coming year it will also be looking closely at its bottom line in a bid to have a leaner operation. But newly appointed Chairman Sonny Portelli, yesterday ruled out that a leaner company meant redundancies.
"Like any business we have to look at our cost base. We have to be efficient and lean. Lean means how we are spending our money and what we’re getting in return for it. It does not mean in any way that we are going to make people redundant. My board and I are not considering redundancies or early retirement schemes," Mr Portelli told The Malta Financial and Business Times.
He was interviewed yesterday just after the presentation of the company’s results for the first three quarters of 2003 to shareholders and stockbrokers.
"The cost cutting we are looking at is one derived from good management by reducing waste, making sure people are delivering, increasing seriousness and focus," Mr Portelli insisted.

The interim results saw Maltacom register impressive increase in revenue from cellular traffic and internet-related services, increases of 19.8 per cent and 24.8 per cent respectively over the same period in 2002.
However, the company saw a major drop of 23.8 per cent in international outgoing fixed line telephony revenue. The major cause for this drop was the proliferation of various operators offering overseas phone calls via the internet.
Asked by The Malta Financial and Business Times whether Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) had caught the company by surprise, Mr Portelli said: "The regulator had asked us to take certain measures to ensure that there was a level playing field. But this is the nature of the sector. It is dynamic, ever-changing. The future is internet protocol telephony. Fixed line telephony is on the way out. You cannot resist change and now we have come out with our own VOIP product and will be fighting for our market share."
See full interview with Sonny Portelli on page 11

Copyright © Newsworks Ltd. Malta.
Editor: Saviour Balzan
The Malta Financial & Business Times, Newsworks Ltd, Vjal ir-Rihan, San Gwann
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