Qwest profits plunge, job cuts planned

30 Oct 2008

Denver-based Qwest Communications International posted a profit of USD151 million for the three months ended 30 September 2008, a drop of 93 % from USD2.07 billion twelve months previously. Results from a year ago were helped by a tax benefit of USD2.1 billion. Revenue for Q3 2008 fell 2% to USD3.38 billion, from USD3.43 billion, as the decline in consumer spending and competitive pressure from cable took its toll.

Qwest’s total access lines fell 8.9% to 11.9 million, led by a sharp decline in the wholesale business, while it added 61,000 new customers to its high speed internet service. The company said as a result of the continuing decline of its traditional phone business it will reduce its workforce by 3%, equating to 1,200 job cuts, before the end of the year. The cuts will be made at all levels and units of the company, chief operating officer Tom Richards said.

Qwest does not have its own television or wireless service, but it partners with DirecTV Group Inc for satellite TV and Verizon Wireless for wireless service, receiving a monthly fee for each subscriber it signs up. In the third quarter the company added 39,000 video subscribers but lost 45,000 wireless customers. The drop in mobile subscribers was mainly attributable to its efforts to switch customers over to Verizon Wireless from its previous partner Sprint Nextel’s services.

United States, Qwest Communications International