Deutsche Telekom sticks to forecasts as profits ebb

FRANKFURT AM MAIN (AFP) – Network operator Deutsche Telekom reported yesterday tumbling profits but higher revenues in 2018, saying the smaller bottom line was down to the previous year’s one-off lift from US tax cuts and sticking to its forecasts for 2019.

Net profit at the Bonn-based giant fell 37.4 per cent, to 2.2 billion euros (USD2.4 billion).

Operating, or underlying profit also dropped 8.9 per cent, to 21.8 billion euros, although revenues grew 0.9 per cent to reach 75.7 billion.

Lower net profit was “primarily attributable to the positive one-time effects of the US corporate tax reform” in 2017, Telekom said in a statement.

Nevertheless, “we kept our promises and continued to grow in 2018,” Chief Executive Tim Hoettges said. In home market Germany, the group said it added customers both on mobile connections and fibre-optic home broadband, with operating profits rising despite falling revenues.

Meanwhile, both revenues and operating profit grew elsewhere in Europe as more people matched the German trend by opting for contracts combining a mobile phone and home Internet connection. And T-Mobile US remained a powerful growth motor for the firm, adding more than seven million customers year-on-year.

Revenue at the unit grew by a similar amount, to USD43.1 billion (38 billion euros), while operating profit increased almost twice as fast, rising 13.6 per cent to reach USD11.9 billion.

Deutsche Telekom managed to increase revenue last year, but its profitability was squeezed. – AFP