Dutch operator KPN sees drop in profit

Dutch operator group KPN has announced that its net profit for the first half of 2012 has fallen by a staggering 40 per cent. The figure stood at €603m ($729m), compared to the €1.01bn the firm recorded in 1H11. Revenue from the half dropped by 2.2 per cent to €6.38bn compared with the €6.52bn the firm generated in the same quarter a year earlier.

Revenue for the second quarter of the year stood at €3.19bn, three per cent lower than the €3.29bn posted in 2Q11. Net profit for the quarter was €315m, a 24 per cent decline on the €414m recorded in the same period a year earlier.

The firm has recently seen Latin American operator group América Móvil take its stake in the business to 23 per cent as it looks to expand its European footprint. The group is seeking to increase its stake in Europe in an attempt to capitalise on an opportunity to turn around the fortunes of operators currently suffering from difficult market conditions.

CEO Eelco Blok called the performance “satisfactory” and said that despite economic factors in The Netherlands, the firm is investing to strengthen its market positions across segments.

“In consumer residential, our TV market share and FTTH penetration are increasing, benefiting from the investments in copper upgrades and FTTH roll-out,” he said.

The firm also announced an infrastructure sharing deal with Vodafone in The Netherlands earlier this month. The operators are trialling a passive infrastructure sharing agreement in a bid to drive down costs. The trial will run for several months with the companies planning to re-evaluate the deal towards the end of the year.

In addition, KPN has concluded reviews of its German carrier E-Plus and its mobile operations in Belgium, which it is looking to sell. Blok said that in 2Q12, KPN maintained growth in service revenues and customers in those markets.

“We have an even stronger belief in the significant value of E-Plus,” he said. “We have started the sale process for BASE in Belgium. BASE is a successful challenger with excellent momentum for continued upside; we expect a sale price to reflect that.”

The operator also announced a reduction in the outlook for the full year 2012 dividend per share to 35c and a 2013 dividend per share outlook of at least 35c. The group will pay an interim 2012 dividend per share of 12c in August.

Meanwhile, Nordic operator group Telenor saw an increase in revenue and adjusted operating profit for the quarter. The firm’s 2Q12 revenue stood at NOK25.36bn ($4.16bn); 0.04 per cent up on the NOK24.36bn posted in 2Q11. Adjusted operating profit stood at NOK4.49bn; 27 per cent up on the NOK3.54bn recorded in the same quarter last year.

As a response to the uncertain regulatory environment in India, the firm said it is now re-allocating resources held by Uninor, its business in the country, to the nine most profitable circles.

“In this manner, we aim to shorten the time and reduce the cost for the operation to become self-financed, thereby reducing the risk of the India investment,” said Jon Fredrik Baksaas, president and CEO of Telenor Group.

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