C&W misses forecasts but remains upbeat

25 May 2006

UK-based Cable & Wireless missed consensus forecasts for its full year results but raised its shareholder dividend on the back of an improved medium-term outlook. Pre-tax profits fell to GBP209 million (USD400 million) in the twelve months ended 31 March 2006, down 35% on fiscal 2004/05; excluding exceptional items, pre-tax profits were GBP112 million. EBITDA was GBP390 million. Revenues rose 9.6% to GBP3.23 billion, boosted by the acquisition of IT services and telecoms solutions provider Energis in November 2005. Earnings were affected by investment in its UK broadband business Bulldog, which posted a bigger than expected GBP127 million loss, due to higher churn, price erosion and a one-off pension fund payment. The company’s dividend was raised 18% to 4.5 pence per share, reflecting ‘improved visibility of future prospects, particularly in the UK but in our international business as well.’

United Kingdom, Cable & Wireless (UK)