D Telekom on track to hit profit target

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Deutsche Telekom is set to reach its profit target this year and at least match that performance in 2009.

Europe’s largest telecoms company by revenue said its international mobile phone business was holding up to the pressures of the economic slowdown.

DT has spent the past two years revamping its German operations and buying small rivals in its existing mobile phone markets in the US and Europe rather than moving into riskier markets in Asia and Africa. It is targeting a steady €19.3bn ($24.6bn) in adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (ebitda) this year and next.

In the three months to September, DT sales fell 1.5 per cent to €15.4bn compared with last year, as its traditional copper-wire, fixed-line business in Germany continued to shrink. Ebitda, adjusted for one-off influences, rose 2.4 per cent to €5.25bn.

Rene Oberman, chief executive, said third-quarter performance was the result of “extremely good operation progress” both in its long-suffering German operations and mobile telephony.

DT lost 574,000 old-style telephone customers in Germany to mobile and broadband services. It did pick up 344,000 high-speed internet customers but overall fixed-line and broadband sales fell 7.2 per cent to €4.47bn.

DT’s T-Mobile unit saw third-quarter sales increase 1.1 per cent, with the weak US dollar contributing an adverse currency effect for the company’s otherwise sprightly US operations.

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