Brazil's TIM profit slips 8 percent on weak sales

jueves 12 de febrero de 2015 20:05 GYT

SAO PAULO Feb 12 (Reuters) - TIM Participações SA , Brazil's second-largest wireless phone company, posted an 8 percent drop in quarterly profit on Thursday because of stagnant sales and rising costs.

Net income for the Brazilian unit of Telecom Italia SpA fell 460 million reais ($163 million), in line with an average forecast of 459 million reais in a Reuters poll of analysts.

Weak job growth and annual inflation over 7 percent has eroded consumer confidence in Brazil, triggering a sharp drop in household spending. TIM's net revenue has stagnated as a result, virtually unchanged in the fourth quarter from a year earlier.

Growing demand for data services helped to offset falling voice revenue. And net revenue in TIM's fixed-line unit posted a rare increase, suggesting it had turned the corner after restructuring its corporate portfolio.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, rose 4 percent from a year earlier to 1.558 billion reais, above an average forecast of 1.489 billion reais.

($1 = 2.82 reais) (Reporting by Brad Haynes; Additional reporting by Luciana Bruno in Rio de Janeiro. Editing by Andre Grenon)