Financial

Bharti Airtel profits drop 30% as 3G disappoints

Bharti Airtel reported declining profits for the eleventh consecutive quarter as tax and depreciation costs eroded its revenue gains.

The operator flagged up a 17% year-on-year increase in third-quarter revenues, to 202.73 billion rupees ($3.74 billion), boosted by the addition of more than 25 million customers over the past year.

But net income dropped 30%, to 7.21 billion rupees, due to rising costs and the underperformance of its African operations.

Telefonica turns profitable as revenues shrink

After reporting losses a year earlier, Spain’s Telefonica entered profitable territory last quarter, with net income of €1.38 billion ($1.77 billion), while chipping away at its mountain of debt.

The company had reported losses of €429 million in the third quarter of 2011, largely due to expenses incurred as a result of laying off thousands of workers in its domestic market.

It also managed to lower its net debt by €2.3 billion, to €56 billion, and anticipates a further reduction of €3.2 billion, following several divestments and the IPO of Telefonica Deutschland.

Ericsson to cut near 9% of Swedish staff amid downturn

Reuters

Ericsson is to cut 1,550 staff in Sweden as the world's biggest maker of mobile phone networks aims to drive down costs in an industry facing a global slowdown.

Competition has pushed down telecom gear prices while global economic weakness has led to slower spending by operators, pressuring vendors in the industry.

In the third quarter, Ericsson's core profit fell 42 percent due to slower orders and a shift in business mix to less profitable contracts. The company said then it would focus on cost cuts.

Plexus loses Juniper's business, shares tumble

Reuters

Contract electronics manufacturer Plexus Corp said it would no longer make switches and network gear for its largest customer, Juniper Networks Inc, sending its shares down 24 percent after the bell.

Juniper (Sunnyvale, USA) said it was cutting the number of suppliers it uses and an analyst said price may have been an issue.

Plexis (Neenah, USA) did not give a reason for the contract loss but is expected to discuss the development in a conference call scheduled for Wednesday morning at 8 a.m. Eastern.

Ericsson to cut Swedish staff as downturn bites

Reuters

Telecoms gear maker Ericsson said on Wednesday it would cut 1,550 staff in Sweden as it looks to drive down costs, with the majority of layoffs coming in its underperforming networks unit.

In the third quarter, Ericsson's (Stockholm, Sweden) core profit fell 42 percent due to slower orders and a shift in business mix to less profitable contracts and the company said it would focus on cost cuts.

It gave no details of how the job cuts would affect annual costs. The company has nearly 18,000 employees in Sweden.

Vodafone tax dispute blocks progress on India-Canada deal

Vodafone’s tax dispute with Indian authorities appears to have upset the signing of a foreign-investment protection deal between India and Canada, according to a report from Reuters.

Stephen Harper, Canada’s prime minister, had been expected to sign such a deal while on a trip to India this week, but India’s government is now reviewing the terms of the agreements it has with other countries as a result of the Vodafone (Newbury, UK) dispute.

Kcell to list in London: report

Kazakhstan’s Kcell is planning to list about a quarter of its equity for up to £500 million in London, according to a report in the Financial Times.

The largest mobile-phone operator in Kazakhstan, Kcell (Almaty, Kazakhstan) is majority owned by Scandinavian telecoms group TeliaSonera, which paid $1.5 billion for its stake at the end of 2011 – some 4.6 times Kcell’s projected 2011 earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA).

Non-telecoms interests boost KT Corp earnings

KT Corp reported healthy gains in net income and revenues for the third quarter thanks to the strong performance of its non-telecoms interests.

The operator, which runs South Korea’s biggest fixed-line network and its second-largest mobile-phone operation, reported a 45.6% year-on-year increase in net income, to 372.3 billion won ($341 million), while revenues grew 30.6% to 6,519.4 billion won.

Vodafone New Zealand completes $690 million TelstraClear takeover

Vodafone New Zealand has completed its NZ$840 million ($690 million) takeover of TelstraClear, giving it a fixed-line business to complement its mobile-phone operation and allowing it to better compete with market leader Telecom New Zealand.

The transaction received regulatory approval earlier this week after authorities judged there would be no lessening of competition in fixed-line and broadband markets as a result of the acquisition.

MetroPCS loses 300,000 customers, launches joyn

Third-quarter earnings results from MetroPCS have provoked a mixed reaction, with growth in net income and revenues but a fall in average revenue per user (ARPU) and accelerating customer losses.

Net income for the fifth-biggest mobile-phone operator in the US was $193 million, compared with $69 million during the same period last year, but included a securities settlement of $53 million.

Total revenues grew by 4% to $1.26 billion.

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