Group EBITDA comparable declined by 7.8% from EUR 843.4 million to EUR 777.6 million in the first half of 2011. Lower results from the Austrian, Bulgarian and Croatian segments were partly compensated by EBITDA comparable growth in the Additional Markets segment. In Belarus EBITDA comparable declined slightly due to foreign currency translations, which negatively impacted Group EBITDA comparable by EUR 19.0 million in the first six months of 2011. On a like-for-like basis EBITDA comparable declined by 5.5%.
In the Austrian segment EBITDA comparable declined by 9.8% to EUR 497.8 million. Cost reductions in the amount of EUR 22.6 million mitigated the impact of declining revenues on EBITDA comparable. Interconnection expenses declined due to lower tariffs and volumes. A reclassification effect of EUR 4.2 million for energy costs increased Other expenses and reduced costs for Services received in the first half of 2011. Material expenses increased due to a higher number of high-value handsets sold in the first six months of 2011.
In the Bulgarian segment EBITDA comparable declined from EUR 149.4 million to EUR 135.5 million. Total operating expenses were impacted by the consolidation of two fixed line operators since February 2011. Regulatory cuts on termination and roaming rates led to lower interconnection expenses and costs for Service received. Material expenses increased due to the demand for high value handsets and Personnel expenses due to the higher number of FTE following the acquisition of two fixed line operators. Furthermore a higher provision for bad debt was recorded. Total operating expenses increased by EUR 10.3 million. Total EBITDA comparable contribution of the fixed line businesses amounted to EUR 3.3 million in the first half of 2011.
Cost reductions in the Croatian segment mitigated the impact of lower revenues on EBITDA comparable which declined by 19.8% to EUR 52.0 million. Total operating expenses declined by EUR 6.8 million primarily as a result of lower Interconnection expenses due to lower tariffs, a decline in costs for Services received due to lower costs for leased lines and lower costs for bad debt. Personnel expenses increased due to severance payments following the headcount reduction during the second quarter 2011. A negative amount of EUR 0.9 million from foreign currency translations impacted EBITDA comparable.
In the Belarusian segment EBITDA comparable declined by 2.0% to EUR 75.4 million in the first half of 2011. A EUR 5.6 million rise in Operating expenses was driven by higher material expenses due to the strong demand for high value handsets and data cards driven by the launch of 3G in 2010. Foreign currency translations negatively impacted EBITDA comparable by EUR 18.0 million in the first half of 2011. On a like-for-like basis EBITDA comparable increased by 21.3% in the Belarusian segment.
In the Additional markets segment EBITDA comparable improved by EUR 22.6 million to EUR 36.0 million in the first six months of 2011. In Slovenia EBITDA comparable remained almost stable at EUR 22.9 million, as higher revenues bolstered a EUR 8.2 million rise in operating expenses. This was primarily driven by an increase in material expenses due to the strong demand for smartphones and an increase in Other operating expenses. In the Republic of Serbia EBITDA comparable turned from a negative amount of EUR 7.2 million to a positive amount of EUR 11.9 million due to higher revenues and a strict focus on cost control. In the Republic of Macedonia EBITDA comparable achieved break-even in the first half of 2011, as subscriber growth led to higher revenues. A negative amount of EUR 0.1 million for foreign currency translations was recorded in the segment Additional Markets in the first half of 2011.
In the first six months of 2011 Group EBITDA (including restructuring and impairment charges) declined by 32.6 % to EUR 558.9 millions. A restructuring charge of EUR 218.6 million was recorded in the Austrian segment, due to staff reductions. An amount of EUR 24.0 million was related to the transfer of 70 civil servants to the Austrian government, the remainder was related to the acceptance of social plans by 577 full time employees. In the first half of 2010 a restructuring charge of EUR 13.7 million was recorded in the Austrian segment.