Telekom Austria narrows Q4 loss; reports full year profit

27 Mar 2003

Austria’s dominant telco Telekom Austria [NYSE: TKA] has narrowed its loss for the fourth quarter of 2002, achieving its first yearly net profit since the restructuring of its operations in 2000. Thanks to a cost cutting scheme undertaken during the year, the operator’s net loss for the three months to the end of December 2002 shrank to EUR99.2 million (USD106 million) from EUR120 million a year earlier, while net income for the full year reached EUR12.8 million compared with a loss of EUR104.6 million in 2001. EBITDA rose by 2.7% in the year to EUR1.51 billion, mainly driven by growth in the mobile sector, while capital expenditures declined by 18.4% to EUR662.4 million. The improved balance sheet contributed to the telco’s efforts to reduce its debt, which fell by EUR77.9 million to EUR3.2 billion. CEO Heinz Sundt said that Telekom Austria’s efforts over the past two years to stabilize the fixed line market and increase revenues from the wireless division have finally paid off; he expects to see a further rise in profit for 2003.