Dutch telco KPN has said reduced taxes and interest costs helped it record a better-than-expected net profit of EUR375 million for the first three months of 2004, despite stagnating fixed line revenues contributing to a 17.7% fall in overall turnover at EUR3.02 billion. Although net profit for the same period of 2003 reached EUR770 million, that figure included a number of considerable one-off gains; analysts had expected the operator to report net earnings of around EUR250 million for Q1 2004. KPN said that EBITDA rose slightly from EUR1.21 billion to EUR1.25 billion, whilst its net debt was cut from EUR8.3 billion to EUR7.9 billion.
Meanwhile, KPN chief executive Ad Scheepbouwer has ruled out any merger or acquisition activity by his company in the short-to-medium term, in the process dispelling persistent rumours that KPN will table a second bid for UK cellco mmO2. KPN is known to be keen to bolster its mobile presence across Europe and in February this year offered of around EUR9.3 billion for mmO2, which was subsequently turned down.