Telecom Serbia admits its indebtedness increases, but says it pays off

Telecom Serbia admits its indebtedness increases, but says it pays off

Telecom Serbia admits its indebtedness increases, but says it pays off Izvor: N1

The Telekom Serbia company CEO Predrag Culibrk told reporters on Friday that the state telecommunication firm's profit increase 25 percent, despite over 1.1 billion Euro debt to the banks.

Official reports showed Telekom owed 396 million Euro to the banks in 2017, then 770 million the next year, while in 2019, the total debt to the banks was 1.152 million Euro.

In response to an N1 reporter's question about those data, Culibrk said it was obvious that "the indebtedness increases, but that it is already paying off."

He said that the company "of course took loans for all the acquisitions we've made. Do we have a great trust of the banking sector, yes, we have and the interest rates the banks give us prove that." He did not specify the level of the interest rates."Do we hide something – of course we don't. Our financial reports are available on the website," Culibrk said, adding that he thought that "investments which increased our indebtedness were well-timed and focused and were already paying off."

Asked who decided to increase the company's debt for 300 percent, Culibrk said: "Statutory bodies, based on the adopted strategic plan for the 2018 – 2021 period, the arrangement with banks and an accurate assessment of vi the telecommunications market."Vladimir Lukic, Telekom's coordinator for Internet and multi-media, said that regardless of a tough investment cycle, Telekom's worth was over 2.5 billion, adding the company's indebtedness was at the European average.

Culibrk denied a report by the Anti-Corruption Councilwhich its member Jelisaveta Vasilic published.

He said the body did not adopt it, and that her conclusions were based on wrong presumptions because "neither the assets and goods of Telekom Srbija are in general use nor are they of general interest ... They are not assets; they are not railways, roads, forests, bridges ... For a long time, the activity of electronic communications is not of general interest but is left entirely to the market."

Commenting on Marinika Tepic, an opposition leader, demand for an independent commission to investigate Telekom's business, Culibrk said the aim was "to create a public image about Telekom's illegal businesses to undermine and weaken it."

He added there was 'an orchestrated attack' (on the company).

Asked whether it is Telkom's practice that its human resources director Drasko Markovic attacks people in the street and determines where one can stand, and whether the company will react to that, Culibrk said it hadn't been a smart move, but that nothing terrible has happened.

The Telekom Serbia's leadership announced lawsuits before local and international courts against the United Group for, as they said, the untruths it published about Telekom.  

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