Dutch KPN sees five-fold jump in profit in Q1

30th April 2015, Comments 0 comments

Dutch telecoms firm KPN on Thursday reported a five-fold jump in net profit for the first quarter, but warned "challenges" remain for 2015 in the hotly contested local telecommunications market.

Net profit rose to 15 million euros ($16.7 million) from 3 million euros year-on-year, the increase mainly due to lower financial costs, the Hague-based KPN said in a statement.

Revenue however fell by 3.9 percent to 1.92 billion euros, KPN saying it was "still offset by the impact of the ongoing decline of the business market size."

Group earnings before interest, tax, amortisation and depreciation stood at 603 million euros, down by 3.4 percent and below a forecast by analysts polled by Bloomberg, who predicted 610 million euros.

KPN's share price was up 0.70 percent in afternoon trade on the Amsterdam stock exchange's AEX index, hovering just above 70 euros a share.

The group 10 days ago announced the sale of its Belgian mobile phone operator BASE to cable group Telenet for 1.325 billion euros.

BASE is the third biggest mobile operator in Belgium with 3.3 million subscribers and 2014 turnover of 690 million euros in 2014, behind rivals Proximus and Mobistar -- whose mobile network Telenet currently relies on for mobile access.

KPN said it wanted to refocus on the hotly-contested Dutch telecoms market, which has seen increased competition including from Internet-based telephone services such as Skype.

"We see challenges in our markets" for the rest of 2015, KPN chief executive Eelco Blok said in the statement.

"However, we have a firm ambition to continue the good financial progress and maintain rigorous discipline... in our spending," he said.

A former state-owned company that was privatised in 1994, KPN employs about 25,000 people worldwide.

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© 2015 AFP

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