KPN profit warning after interim loss


KPN Telecom said yesterday buying German mobile firm E-Plus had driven it to a first-half loss and expenses linked to accelerating its expansion in Germany had forced it to cut its full-year forecast.

Shares in the leading Dutch telecoms company, already hit by an €8.4 billion (£6.6 billion) bill for the German third generation mobile licence after KPN's partner withdrew, tumbled to a record low of €28.40 before closing at €28.91, off 6.4 per cent.

KPN posted a first-half net loss of €19 million against a €416 million profit in the first half of 1999.

Sales, which increased in all of its divisions - fixed, mobile, data and Internet services and Internet call centre and media services - rose 29.5 per cent to €5.2 billion.

Goodwill amortisation and financing expenses related to Germany's third largest mobile operator E-Plus, which KPN bought in December with US local carrier BellSouth, were the main causes of the fall in performance, KPN said.