KPN sees Q3 profit drop by a third

Dutch operator group KPN has seen its third quarterly net profit fall by 32 per cent year on year, and has blamed increased competition in the German market as a key factor for its poor performance.

The operator has had a torrid year-to-date. It announced earlier this year that its net profit for the first half of 2012 fell 40 per cent.

The operator recorded net profit of €250m for 3Q12, compared with the €368m it made in 3Q11. This was despite revenue falling by a comparatively modest 6.5 per cent year on year, from €3.26bn to €3bn.

CEO Eelco Blok said the firm saw a “mixed performance” across the group, against an uncertain macro environment.

“In Germany, competition on price has intensified in recent quarters which is leading to a slow-down in E-Plus’ top line growth,” he said. “The growth from higher postpaid net adds is being offset by customers optimising their tariffs.”

He warned that in Q4, market conditions will remain challenging and admitted the firm is currently performing short of its expectations

“We expect that this situation could continue for the coming quarters. We will continue to strive for a balance between a prudent financial framework, investments in our business and shareholder remuneration.”

Operations in The Netherlands and Belgium fared better over the quarter, however. Blok said that the operator has also seen rising Net Promoter Scores (NPS); a metric to gauge customer satisfaction.

“We are on track in The Netherlands to reach our 2012 market share targets, where we continue to upgrade our mobile and fixed networks to provide the highest quality of service,” he said.

“KPN Group Belgium performed strongly in 2012 year-to-date and has launched a number of initiatives to protect and enhance its market position.”

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