Brazil's Oi aims to generate 20 pct of revenue through digital channels
By Ana Mano
SAO PAULO Aug 3 (Reuters) - Oi SA, the Brazilian fixed line telecoms operator that filed for bankruptcy in June, aims to use digital platforms such as smart phone apps and the Internet to reduce sales costs, the executive overseeing its online marketing strategy said on Wednesday.
Maurício Vergani, Oi's director of digital and transformation, projected that sales through digital channels will rise to 20 percent of total revenues in four years, from a current four percent.
Oi had gross sales of 6.75 billion reais ($2.08 billion) in the first quarter, a 4 percent drop over the same period a year earlier, while costs and operating expenses were flat at 5 billion reais, according to a securities filing.
"These initiatives will reduce sales expenses and improve the company's operating performance," Vergani said at a press conference in São Paulo.
Oi declined to quantify the expected drop in sales-related expenses from relying more on Internet sales. Executives said, however, that going through online channels instead of traditional channels, such as call centers, can cut sales costs by some 80 percent.
Oi, which is Brazil's fourth-largest wireless carrier with an 18.5 percent market share in the first quarter, also said it is working on a project to reduce costs by migrating clients to an online billing system. Oi spends 300 million reais annually just to mail the bills to its clients nationwide, company executives said. ($1 = 3.2479 Brazilian reais) (Reporting by Ana Mano; Editing by Christian Plumb and Grant McCool)
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