Dutch KPN telecoms posts 18 percent loss in 2014

4th February 2015, Comments 0 comments

Dutch telecoms firm KPN on Wednesday reported a full-year drop in net profit of 54 million euros partly blamed on a decline in the Dutch business sector, as it announced further job cuts.

Year-on-year profit fell to 239 million euros ($273 million) in 2014, down 18 percent from 293 million euros a year earlier, the company based in The Hague said in a statement.

Turnover dipped by 4.6 percent to 8.0 billion euros over the same period.

"The size of the business market continued to decline", said KPN, as many Dutch companies implement their own cost-cutting measures including slashing jobs, which reduces communications requirements.

KPN said it now planned to cut between 2,000 and 2,500 jobs by 2016 under its "simplification" programme.

Last year it said it planned between 1,500 and 2,000 layoffs.

The programme will save an estimated 400 million euros by 2016, KPN said.

Despite losses, KPN said it managed to broaden its customer base last year, driven by its high investment in networks including 4G, now boasting more than two million users.

"We will continue to build on solid fundamentals through strong customer focus, strengthening capacity of our networks and the simplification programme," KPN chief executive Eelco Blok said.

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

Like other mobile and landline telephone operators, it faces stiff competition from free Internet call programmes such as Skype.

KPN is also up against growing rivalry at home. The European Commission in October cleared a bid by US-based Liberty Global's to acquire telecoms competitor Ziggo, subject to conditions.

© 2015 AFP

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