World Bulletin / News Desk
German telecommunications giant Deutsche Telekom said Thursday net profits fell in 2016, as its stake in Britain's BT lost value in the wake of last year's Brexit vote.
The main factor hitting profits was a 2.2-billion-euro loss from its 12-percent stake in BT "mainly as a result of declines in the BT share price and in the pound sterling following the Brexit referendum," the German group said.
Britain's June vote to leave the European Union took the global markets completely by surprise, sparking lingering uncertainty and unease over London's future relationship with Brussels.
Deutsche Telekom stressed that the dip in profits would not affect its payout of shareholder dividends, which it plans to increase by 5 euro cents to 0.60 euros per share.
Operating, or underlying profit at the group slightly outpaced the group's own forecasts, adding almost 8.0 percent to reach 21.4 billion euros.
Revenues at Telekom grew 5.6 percent in 2016 to more than 73 billion euros, more than analysts had forecast, as its American unit T-Mobile USA continued to enjoy strong performance.
That division alone added 8.2 million customers last year in the teeth of a highly competitive and saturated US mobile phone market.
T-Mobile USA's revenues grew 16 percent to $37.3 billion, while profits doubled to $1.5 billion.
Across the Atlantic, Telekom's revenues in Germany and the rest of Europe fell as its fixed-line phone business continues to decline.
Looking ahead to 2017, Deutsche Telekom aims to increase revenues to achieve an operating profit of around 22.2 billion euros -- 4.0 percent higher than 2016's figure.Last Mod: 02 Mart 2017, 10:49