Cable & Wireless has reported an expected 18% drop in first half revenues, but maintains it making good progress in exiting its US business and is well on its way to turning around its loss making UK operation. Turnover for the six months ended 30 September 2003 dipped from GBP2.36 billion to GBP1.94 billion, although losses before tax improved from GBP4.43 billion to GBP3 million. Retained losses for the period were GBP80 million.
C&W has been attempting to dispose of its US web-hosting business over the past few months. To this end it has already closed eight data centres and reduced the company’s headcount to 1,700, measures which have helped it reduce operating losses by GBP100 million. The disposal has troubled shareholders, however, thanks to the GBP850 million cost associated with it. However, C&W shares have been boosted recently by news that the company is close to concluding talks to sell the whole division. In the UK, where C&W has begun a three year restructuring programme, the company reported flat revenues compared to the previous six-month period. 600 UK employees have already left the company, with a further 900 scheduled for redundancy over a three year period.