The Netherlands’ incumbent fixed and mobile operator KPN Telecom has reported a 3.5% annual rise in first-quarter core net profit, driven by strong growth at its international mobile operations, and says there are strong indications that its Dutch businesses are beginning to bottom out. Reuters reports that KPN posted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of EUR1.23 billion (USD1.9 billion) in the three months ending 31 March 2008, up from EUR1.19 billion the year before, in line with analyst estimates of EUR1.23 billion in a Reuters poll. KPN’s international mobile division reported core earning growth of 7.1%, while growth in its home market climbed 2.1% despite intense competition from alternative telcos and cable TV operators. KPN attributed the gain to benefits resulting from its acquisition of IT services company Getronics last year, which helped drive up revenues by 22% to EUR3.57 billion, compared with an average forecast of EUR3.61 billion. KPN chief executive Ad Scheepbouwer said his company was optimistic that net income from Dutch operations would begin to rise again on a comparable basis. ‘There are many factors – the net line loss that continues to go down, the growth in IP services, TV and of course the cost reductions,’ he said, adding ‘We’re optimistic that this thing is turning around.’
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