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The Warsaw Voice » Business » April 16, 2008
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GTI to Extend Network
April 16, 2008   
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Mobile phone operator Orange's GTI dealership network in Poland plans to increase the number of points of sale and sales offices from 155 to 200 this year. "Our analyses, taking into account market conditions and financial calculations, indicate that the optimum number is 250 points," said Michał Smolarski, GTI general manager.

After leaving the Germanos Group in 2007, GTI was acquired by Light Ring Ltd., a subsidiary of Alpha Ventures that in turn is an investment division of Alpha Bank, a leading Greek financial group operating in Eastern Europe. Alpha Ventures is a private equity fund that invests in new, dynamically expanding companies that are not listed on the stock exchange. It also provides assistance to the companies it invests in with the intention of retaining their shares over a longer period (three to five years).

GTI officials say last year was successful but difficult for the company. Several important factors affected dealership networks' operations and financial results, including higher market saturation (105 percent), dropping sales of new SIM cards, and greater competition related to the extensive sales structure of Polish mobile phone operators (Orange-nearly 1,200 points of sale, Era-700, Plus-850, and Play-almost 450).

Last year brought about restructuring and solid foundations for future operations for GTI. The company notched up zl.84 million in sales (preliminary data), 13.5 percent more than in 2006.

Retail sales networks are becoming of key importance for mobile phone operators on the near-saturated Polish market. Dealerships offer not only product and service distribution but also handle customer service, helping the operator retain satisfied customers.
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