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Belt-tightening by Costa Rica's ICE pays off

Bnamericas Published: Thursday, April 21, 2016
Belt-tightening by Costa Rica's ICE pays off

Costa Rica's state-owned telecom and electricity company ICE said its initial budget for this year is 266bn colons (US$498mn) smaller than that allocated for 2013.

The company, in a release, said the 13.3% drop is a result of efficiency measures.

ICE's overall annual budget was 1.99tn colons in 2013 and 1.85tn colons in 2015. Its initial budget for this year is 1.73tn colons.

The figures were revealed in a 2016 public budget report published by the comptroller general's office.

"The most important reason for this reduction in expenses is the implementation of measures aimed at optimizing the use of the company's financial resources," said Jesus Orozco, director of ICE's corporate finance division.

He added that the cuts are partly related to the company's Reventazón hydroelectric project, the largest engineering initiative in the history of Costa Rica.

Cost-reduction measures have also been implemented in the areas of staffing, subcontracting and resource optimization, among others.

Additionally, national and overseas travel expenses, third-party commissions for telecom services and advertising budgets have also seen cuts.

ICE was this month repairing telecom infrastructure after a series of forest fires in Guanacaste region.

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