Kingston earnings up 28% - CEO denies sell-off rumours

26 Nov 2003

UK alternative telecoms service provider Kingston Communications has reported a 28% rise in core earnings for the six months to 30 September 2003 to GBP24 million, but said that GBP3.9 million worth of restructuring costs had impacted on its bottom line, resulting in widening losses of GBP8.7 million from GBP6.7 million previously. The EBITDA performance was at the high end of market expectations, thanks in part to the company making a decision in September to take out GBP10 million of annualised savings, including GBP7 million at its corporate business, and 140 job cuts. Group revenues rose marginally by 2.9% to GBP158 million, with East Yorkshire voice and data revenues up 5.4% and Business Services network-based revenues improving by 5.8%. Commenting on the results incoming chief executive Malcolm Fallon was decidedly upbeat, saying that the performance was in line with expectations, while its chairman, Michael Abrahams added that his company had been cash flow positive over the last twelve months and ‘currently anticipates being cash flow positive on an annual basis hereafter’. The CEO also took the opportunity to dismiss reports that Kingston is looking to sell-off parts of the business. Although the telco has been linked with a possible takeover by Glasgow-based Thus, Fallon said he was committed to all parts of the business, but added cryptically that he realised Kingston was operating in a ‘crowded landscape’ and declined to ‘comment on anything of a discursive matter between us and any other operator’.

United Kingdom, KCOM